A mechanism for regulating the hormone prolactin has newly been revealed by scientists at Karolinska Institutet. The results are to be published in the scientific journal Neuron, and may be significant for conditions and functions such as breast-feeding, sexual libido, and metabolism. The hormone, prolactin, is released from the pituitary gland in the brain and is the signal that triggers breast milk production during nursing. The reason that women normally do not produce milk and men never do - is that the release of prolactin is normally strongly inhibited by the signal substance dopamine. This is secreted by cells known as 'TIDA' neurons in the hypothalamus in the brain.
A Faculty of 1000 evaluation examines how a stomach-produced hormone that influences the desire to eat and consume alcohol could be switched off to control drinking problems. The study, carried out by Jerlhag et al. at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, showed that the hormone ghrelin, typically released by the stomach and known to promote appetite and therefore the intake of food, also influences the consumption of alcohol. The results, published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, showed that mice injected with ghrelin and then given the choice of alcohol or water to drink, were more likely to choose alcohol.
A study by the University of Exeter and the Peninsula Medical School for the first time links thyroid disease with human exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is a persistent organic chemical used in industrial and consumer goods including nonstick cookware and stain- and water-resistant coatings for carpets and fabrics. Published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, The study revealed that people with higher concentrations of PFOA in their blood have higher rates of thyroid disease. The researchers analysed samples from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The Endocrine Society's New Journal, Hormones Cancer, Bridges Gap Between Endocrinology And Oncology
The Endocrine Society unveiled its newest journal, Hormones & Cancer. This bi-monthly journal will include research articles covering all aspects of hormone action on cancer causation, progression, dependence, prevention, resistance and treatment. Hormonal cancers include cancers of the breast and prostate, two of the most deadly cancer subtypes. Additional hormonal cancer subtypes to be addressed in Hormones & Cancer include thyroid, gynecologic and pituitary cancer. Bringing together endocrinology and oncology researchers, this new journal will span the multidisciplinary nature of this field of research by including basic scientific, epidemiological and translational research papers.
Hormone Helps to Regulate Energy Homeostasis, Neuroendocrine Function, and Metabolism Leptin is a hormone that plays a central role in fat metabolism. Patients with genetic leptin deficiency are obese, and treatment with leptin leads to dramatic weight loss through decreased food intake and possible increased energy expenditure. However, most obese people who produce leptin normally are resistant to the weight-loss effects of the hormone. Leptin deficiency is a clinical syndrome associated with distinct conditions such as recent weight loss, diet- or exercise-induced hypothalamic amenorrhea, and lipoatrophy. Recombinant human leptin is an emerging potential therapy for these leptin-deficient conditions because in replacement doses, it normalizes energy homeostasis, neuroendocrine function, and metabolism.
Endocrinologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC are launching a human trial of a new drug that their research indicates holds great promise for building bones weakened by osteoporosis. For the study, 105 participants will be randomly assigned to receive either teriparitide (Forteo® ), a drug that already is FDA-approved for osteoporosis treatment, or an experimental agent called parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), explained principal investigator Mara J. Horwitz, M.D., an assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Pitt School of Medicine, and a practicing metabolic bone specialist at UPMC.