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Insulin Addresses Glucagon Rather than Food Intake?

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Y. Lee, et al, "Glucagon Receptor Knockout Prevents Insulin Deficient Type 1 Diabetes in Mice," Diabetes, 60 (2) 391 (2011) [no abstract yet on Pubmed] have just presented some remarkable research which suggests that insulin action during glucose absorption is not primarily directed toward helping glucose cross from the blood over the cell walls and into the cells, but is instead largely directed toward overcoming the hepatic action of glucagon. In the experiment, mice with their pancreatic beta cells chemically destroyed and thus with no native insulin production showed no symptoms of diabetes, and their glucose tolerance tests even improved after beta cell destruction, as long as their glucagon receptors were blocked. If these results are confirmed and generalized for other species, then they would completely overthrow the established understanding of the action of insulin in metabolism. In addition, they would open entirely new avenues of research for treating diabetes in humans.

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