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The University of Copenhagen has drawn a little closer towards understanding what causes diabetes and hormone deficiencies. The group of researchers from the university have been working on the discovery, which centres around the way that the body regulates certain hormones, and the results of the study have been published in PLOS Biology, a scientific journal.
People who are suffering from diabetes or are showing poor growth may well have problems with something called the Pick1 protein, which is a protein in the human body that plays an important role in the production of insulin and also the human growth hormones.
The researchers studied this protein, and looked at what role was played by Pick1 when the brain releases growth hormone and the pancreases releases insulin. During the testing phase of the research, the researchers found that a deficiency of Pick1 directly translates into a deficiency in growth hormone and insulin in mice and in fruit flies, which were tested as part of the research. In mice in particular it was very evident that the mice who were short of Pick1 soon became small, fat and with an intolerance to sugar. There is no reason to suggest that this is not the case in humans, too.
Different cells are responsible for the production of certain kinds of hormones, which they store after production and then secrete into the blood, to trigger the process for which each hormone is responsible. This is not a well-understood mechanism, but it is thought that this process plays a part in both diabetes and poor growth. Now that we know about the effect of the Pick1 protein, further research can be done on how to prevent deficiencies.