Basics about insulin and dedicated research tools

Diabetes is a major health concern. And its research can be a nightmare sometimes. tebu-bio strive to offer a comprehensive range of research tools and services to study Obesity, Diabetes, and Metabolic syndrome (including pancreatic islet cells), and tools to unravel signaling mechanisms in insulin secretion. Anyhow, it might be good, though, to go back to the basics from time to time. Let’s remember our graduate courses (more or less years ago) about Insulin and its biological roles.

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20S Proteasome inhibitors and Leptin against obesity

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated in 2008 that 1.4 billion adults worldwide were overweight and of these 500 million were obese with risks for developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardio-vascular diseases. The discovery of the adipocyte hormone, Leptin, brought to light the possibility that its anorectic effect could be harnessed for treating the epidemic of obesity. However up until now Leptin resistance has been an unsurmountable problem and the use of this adipokine for suppressing food intake has failed. In a recent issue of Cell, Junli Liu and coworkers at Harvard Medical School report that Celastrol, a natural product isolated from the Thunder God Vine (Tripterygium Wilfordi), is a powerful antiobesity agent.

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Factors affecting human islet cell quality

The islets of Langerhans are the regions of the pancreas that contain its endocrine (i.e., hormone-producing) cells. Discovered in 1869 by German pathological anatomist Paul Langerhans, the islets of Langerhans constitute approximately 1% to 2% of the mass of the pancreas. There are about one million islets distributed throughout the pancreas of a healthy adult human. Each is separated from the surrounding pancreatic tissue by a thin fibrous connective tissue capsule. The islets of Langerhans contain beta cells, which secrete insulin, and play a significant role in diabetes.

Islets are widely used for transplantation to restore beta cell function from diabetes, offering an alternative to a complete pancreas transplantation or an artificial pancreas. Because the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans are selectively destroyed by an autoimmune process in type 1 diabetes, islet transplantation is a means of restoring physiological beta cell function in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Human Islets for Research (HIR)™ are primary human islets processed from organ donor pancreases that have been approved for research but not for clinical transplantation of either the  pancreas or the isolated islets. HIR™ are obtained in a proprietary process of pancreas digestion and islet purification that results in uniformly high quality HIR™ for delivery to diabetes  investigators. Quality Control (QC) testing is routinely performed prior to release to assure uniform quality and function of these islets available for research. [Read more…]

Biomarkers of micronutrient malnutrition

Unfortunately, and still in the XXIst century, micronutrient (MN) malnutrition is a problem in all countries, in all segments of society. While part of the world starves, another part is obese. And a balanced diet is still far from being real for many people. Something to think about…

This is a real public health concern, and policies in this area are aimed at preventing, among others, mild, moderate an severe MN malnutrition. Deficiencies in MNs such as iron, vitamin A (VA), iodine, zinc and folic acid are associated with adverse health outcomes, especially in pregnant women and children. For example, VA is critical for embryonic development, adult growth and development, cellular differentiation, immune function, reproduction and vision. On the other hand, low iron levels lead to reduced physical activity in adults and impaired brain development in children. [Read more…]

Adipokine monitoring during Hunger and Satiety balance

Cytokines and growth factors that are produced by or have an effect on adipocytes and related peptide neuro-transmitters are central players in hunger vs. satiety balance and in eating behavior (1). Recent evidence shows that adipokines, and more generally mediators or indicators of inflammation (2), play roles in the development of insulin resistance (3), diabetes (4) and many other concomittant health problems associated with obesity, including hypertension, dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis (5).

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New glycated hemoglobin antibody as long term diabetic biomarker

Glycation of proteins in blood circulation occurs naturally when circulating sugar is metabolized in the body. Glucose is known to attach to hemoglobin in the bloodstream to form glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c).

Glucose and Glycated hemoglobin (Bb1Ac) as diabetic biomarkers

Hemoglobin is a long-living blood protein complex (around 120 days). Such stability can be used to measure blood HbA1c and thus, indirectly monitor average blood glucose levels during a longer period of time than daily glycemia measurements.

A possible allegory would be to compare Hb1Ac measurements with a movie covering a period of several weeks (average hyperglycemia),  and glucose blood testing with instant photography (punctual glycemia with possible fluctuation over the day).

Glycemia and Hb1Ac measurements are complementary data. They can help diagnose, monitor and stratify patients with diabetes (eg. American Diabetes Association, World Health Organization…). It might also help in the design of personalized therapies. Diabetes.co.uk mentions 2 clinical studies which show that improving HbA1c by 1%, might reduce risks of microvascular complications by 25% for patients with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Direct ELISA with anti-HbA1c clone 75C9

Direct ELISA with anti-HbA1c clone 75C9

Immunoassays are robust antibody-based quantitative methods. They are used to measure glycated hemoglobin HbA1c concentration expressed as a percentage of HbA1c to total hemoglobin.

These immuno-assays require well characterized and reliable primary antibodies.

A new hybridoma clone (75C9) specific for HbA1c has been released.

This 75C9 clone has been validated to measure Hb1Ac as a diabetic biomarker by direct and sandwich ELISA and complements the clone Hb6 which reacts with both unmodified and glycated hemoglobin.

Want to develop hemoglobin-specific ummunoassays with reliable monoclonals?

HbA1c calibration curve with Hb6 and 75C9 clones in fluoro-immunoassay.

HbA1c calibration curve with Hb6 and 75C9 clones in fluoro-immunoassay.

This is something the experts at tebu-bio can help with, you might like to get in touch with them for solutions regarding your research projects.

Adipokines in obesity and glucose homeostasis

Obesity is the abnormal increase in adipose tissue mass. This phenomenon increases the likelyhood of a number of diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and some kinds of cancer.

Obesity is probably the leading preventable cause of death worldwide. People are considered to be obese if their body mass index (BMI) exceeds a value of 30. The mainstays of treatment of obesity remain dieting and physical exercise.

Nevertheless, adipose tissue (fat) cannot be considered a worthless batch of “lard”, but rather a fascinating vital tissue that in addition to being the body’s major energy reservoir, plays a central role as a secretory organ. Research in this field has already lead to exciting results related to both fat reduction, insulin resistance and to the development of robust tools to study diabetes / obesity.

Adipokines are factors secreted by adipose tissue which carry messages to other parts of the body. I would like to briefly introduce the role of adipokines in the regulation of body weight and glucose homeostasis. [Read more…]

Obesity, Diabetes, Metabolic syndrome new research tools

Insulin and Glucagon are involved in glucose homeostasis in addition to other factors secreted by the adipose tissue (adipokines). Insulin and Glucagon are produced by the endocrine pancreas. While Glucagon is released by alpha-cells of the islets of Langerhans to raise glycemia when blood glucose levels fall too low, Insulin has the opposite effectInsulin is produced by beta-cells of the islets of Langerhans. It allows glucose to be taken up from the bloodstream when blood glucose levels are high and to be used by insulin-dependent tissues (liver, skeletal muscles, fat tissue…).

Let’s take a look at a selection of immuno-assays and primary cells for analysing these two hormones and the recentlly launched primary Human Islet cells.

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Focus on the AKT cell signaling pathway…

AKT (Protein Kinase B or PKB), is a serine/threonine-specific protein kinase with known key involvement in glucose metabolism, apoptosis, cell proliferation, transcription and cell migration.

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