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Diabetes Research- Which Metabolic Processes to Target?

Diabetes is a global concern for the healthcare community. It is a chronic metabolic disorder that can either be Type1 (failure to produce enough insulin) or Type2 (inability of the body to use insulin). The exact cause of Type1 Diabetes is still under research and is believed to be an autoimmune disorder with the involvement of genetic and environmental factors. Type2 Diabetes is generally caused by poor lifestyle and diet habits. In the case of untreated Diabetes, blood sugar increases in the blood, leading to hyperglycemia and organ damage.

With an increase in diabetes prevalence, the global research effort to find diabetes treatment is increasing and the market is predicted to expand from $50 to $80 billion (2018-2026). In this article, we have discussed some commonly used in Vitro assays to study diabetes using cellular models and biochemical platforms.

Commonly Targeted Metabolic Pathways for Diabetes Research

diabetes study
Image source: PromoCell

Here are some common metabolic pathways or processes in the Diabetes study. Studying these pathways can help in finding new targets and drugs for Diabetes treatment.

  • Lipogenesis

The presence of insulin signals the cells that glucose is abundant and can be stored as fat. This generates triglycerides in hepatocytes and adipocytes. The triglycerides can be measured for diabetes studies.

  • Lipolysis

Instead of breaking down fats for energy, cells use glucose when insulin levels are high. This breakdown of triglycerides is lipolysis. This process breaks down triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids. Glycerol assays can help in measuring this pathway product.

  • Gluconeogenesis

Glucose assays can be used to determine glucose levels. In case insulin is present, new glucose molecule production through gluconeogenesis is inhibited.

  • Glucoseuptakerate

Glucose uptake assays can measure the rate of uptake by the cells. Insulin helps in speeding up glucose uptake by glucose transporters.

  • GLUT4 translocation

In presence of insulin, GLUT4 transporters are translocated to the plasma membrane for uptake of glucose. The measure of GLUT4 translocation is possible using TRF (time-resolved fluorescence) assay.

  • Glycogenesis

In presence of insulin, the storage of glucose is upregulated in myocytes and hepatocytes in the form of glycogen. Glycogen levels can be measured by glycogen assay.

As more people are succumbing to Diabetes, more research assays to study Diabetes are coming up. Metabolomics is becoming a crucial domain of support in understanding the metabolic pathways to detect and study Diabetes. The metabolic processes mentioned above have been commonly used by researchers and clinicians to study and diagnose Diabetes. With the advent of better-advanced technology, these assays are getting technologically modified platforms in the form of 3D cell culture and microfluidics. Diabetes research is progressing towards excellent pharmaceutical and metabolic discoveries and KOSHEEKA is proud to be a part of this progress with its range of tissue-specific primary cells for academic and industrial research. Contact for more info on Diabetes research and models.

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