Role of appetite hormone MCH in insulin production
A new Joslin Diabetes Center-led study has shown conclusively that a neuropeptide, melanin concentrating hormone (MCH), found in the brain and known for its role in increasing appetite in people, plays a role in the growth of insulin-producing beta cells and the secretion of insulin. This finding has the potential to spur the development of new treatments for diabetes that stimulate the production of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. This latest research, conducted with researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and other institutions, will appear in the February 2007 issue of Diabetes.
An earlier Joslin-led study examined the connection between obesity and MCH, which plays a critical role in energy balance and appetite, observing an increase in the number of beta cells when MCH levels are high. This was a new finding that had not been observed before. Although MCH