The role of gut hormones, gut bacteria and the circadian rhythm in diabetes

[PRESS INVITATION 11/17/2014] The fact that obesity surgery ameliorates type 2 diabetes is likely not limited to the actual loss of fat mass. Other possible effects elicited by this kind of surgery are discussed during this year's Diabetes Day at Karolinska Institutet. There will also be novel insights presented regarding the importance of the gut flora and the circadian rhythm in diabetes.

Journalists are welcome to attend the conference and interview the researchers.

Conference: Diabetes Day - Symposium on Molecular and Physiological Aspects of Diabetes Mellitus
Time: Friday 21 November 2014, at 9 am – 4 pm
Venue: Aula Medica, Nobels väg 6, Karolinska Institutet Campus Solna

The morning will be devoted to novel approaches to diabetes treatment. One of the subjects discussed will be obesity surgery, where there is growing evidence that it is something more than the actual weight loss that makes the treatment successful. Blandine Laferrère, Colombia University, USA, will give a presentation on other mechanisms that may be involved in the beneficial effects. A key hypothesis is that hormones in the gut, incretins, are affected by the obesity surgery, and that these in turn help to resolve the diabetes. Today, GLP-1 is an example of an incretin that is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

“If it turns out that some of the effects of obesity surgery are due to the surgery-mediated effects on incretins, it will perhaps be possible in future to treat more people with incretin-based drugs and thus reduce the need for the surgical procedure,” says Anna Krook, professor of Integrative Physiology at Karolinska Institutet and one of the conference organisers.

Jens Juul Holst, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, will provide more information on the current standing of research on GLP hormones and how they may be harnessed as effective treatments. Richard DiMarchi, Indiana University, USA, will also present his research on new drug treatments based on these gut hormones, and will also discuss new potential treatments.

Recent studies have shown that the gut flora of people with diabetes differs from that of non-diabetics, and improved glucose metabolism has been reported from trials where gut microbiota from healthy subjects have been transferred to obese subjects. Nathalie Delzenne from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium will present recent insights regarding the importance of the gut flora in human health.

Our eating habits and our metabolism is also dependent on our circadian rhythm. For example, shift workers have an increased risk to develop metabolic disease such as type 2 diabetes. Similar associations have been noted in other situations with a disrupted circadian rhythm, such as in people suffering from depression. Detailed understanding of how the circadian rhythm works at a cellular level, the “molecular clock” could lead to insights into ways of restoring a disrupted circadian rhythm or situations where there is a dissonance in the rhythm between different organs. Paolo Sassone-Corsi, University of California Irvine, USA, ends the day with a presentation on the latest developments in this area subject.


For further information, please contact:
Professor Juleen Zierath

Professor Anna Krook
Tel: +46 (0)8-524 878 24

Press Officer Sabina Bossi
Tel: +46 (0)8-524 860 66 or +46 (0)70-614 60 66

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s leading medical universities. It accounts for over 40 per cent of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden and offers the country’s broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. Since 1901 the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.


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