In a recent study, researchers developed a new tool to look for hormones that affect how organs and tissues communicate with each other.
They found naturally occurring molecules that play major roles in type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
The new tool helped them discover two hormones called “notum” and “lipocalin-5” that can improve the body’s ability to burn fat.
In the two hormones, lipocalin-5 can protect animals from developing diabetes or treat the disease.
The hormone could also increase muscle tissue’s ability to metabolize and absorb dietary nutrients and reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes.
The study was done by UCLA geneticists.
Chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes can disrupt how individual tissues and organs communicate with one another.
In the current study, the team developed a new technique to reverse this disruption by finding alternate routes of tissue-to-tissue communication.
The new tool is a data-driven approach to unravel the wide array of functions for hormones that circulate in the bloodstream.
By studying how hormonal functions change in people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, they were able to identify new ways that tissues signal each other and restore normal communication.
The researchers initially found and studied the hormonal networks in mice.
After that, they tested the hormone functions in humans and found a strong overlap between these hormones’ functions in mice and humans.
The team suggests that the new findings could improve the understanding of obesity and common risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
Future work needs to address how the newly identified hormones in humans communicate between unrelated types of tissue.
The team will also apply the new method to examine tissue-to-tissue communication across different ethnicities and diseases.
They hope to use these hormones to develop new drugs to stop the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The study is published in Cell Metabolism.
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