Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes
Research initiatives going on in the University of Louisville Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes.
The focus of our research programs is on insulin signaling mechanisms, islet cell transplantation, gonadotropin gene expression, endocrine oncology, male hypogonadism, and clinical diabetes.
► Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activating Polypeptide (PACAP), a paracrine regulator of gonadotrophs
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This NIH supported research examines a novel regulator of gonadotrophs that appears to play a central role in fetal pituitary functioning by regulating the gonadotropin subunit genes and thereby gonadal function.
PACAP, a group B, G-protein coupled receptor family protein exerts an array of functions on the nervous, immune, gastrointestinal and cardiac, as well as the endocrine systems.
► Insulin response element binding protein-1 (IRE-BP1), a transcription Factor that mediates insulin action
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Dr. Betty C. Villafuerte is investigating the role of a novel transcription factor that appears to mediate signals specific for the metabolic actions of insulin.
The focus of her research is to determine the mechanisms by which IRE-BP1 actions contribute to the pathogenesis and treatment of diabetes, and how changes in insulin sensitivity mediated through IRE-BP1 affect weight control in obesity.
Another field of her IRE-BP1 research is to investigate the relationship between insulin-induced glucose metabolism and changes in cell proliferation in various cancers, particularly colon cancer.
► Sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in the Metabolic Syndrome
Drs. Sathya Krishnasamy and Winters are investigating the production of SHBG in children as a marker for the Metabolic Syndrome, with a special focus on South Asian Children.
SHBG levels with increasing obesity perhaps because of increased insulin signaling. Drs. Winters and Russell A. Prough (U of L Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) are studying the link between SHBG and cortisol metabolism in human liver.
► Type 2 diabetes and its complications
Dr. Sri Mokshagundam and colleagues are studying the role of inflammatory mediators and adipokines in the development of glucose intolerance and cardiovascular disease in subjects with diabetes mellitus, and those at high risk of developing of diabetes such as individuals with chronic spinal cord injury and NASH.
A second area of research is the study of self-care behaviors in subjects with diabetes mellitus and their association with poor glycemic control and high cardiovascular risk, and potential interventions to enhance diabetes related self-care.
- We are also participating in clinical trials related to the impact of renin on diabetic nephropathy (Dr. Villafuerte), and the influence of incretins on cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes (Drs. Krishnasamy and Villafuerte).