Researchers ready leptin test for Type 1 diabetes

Could people with Type 1 diabetes one day replace insulin with leptin? A research team at UT Southwestern has had promising results with animal studies and now is laying the groundwork for testing it in humans.

Dr. Roger Unger, former director of the Director of the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research at UT Southwestern Medical School, says in a new study--which follows a report published back in 2008--that diabetic mice that were genetically modified to produce larger quantities of leptin thrived without insulin. "I think today's paper is much bigger, because the last one was just academic," Unger told the Dallas Morning News. "This is a translatable paper into something that might be useful for people. The other was not." Leptin is a naturally produced hormone.

One of the problems with insulin is that multiple injections are often associated with severe side effects. By replacing insulin with leptin, or significantly reducing the amount of insulin that is injected, people who suffer from Type 1 diabetes could be able to avoid the side effects.

- here's the story from the Dallas Morning News