Methods of Modulating Beta-Cell Growth and Function

Description: The invention is based on the discovery that melanin concentrating hormone (MCH), a naturally-occurring peptide hormone known to be involved in feeding behavior and certain neurological functions, can also modulate pancreatic endocrine function and/or growth. The inventors have discovered that MCH and its receptor are expressed in mouse and human pancreatic islets. It has further been shown that overexpression of MCH in transgenic mice results in increased plasma insulin concentration and increased pancreatic islet size, while knockout mice lacking MCH showed a significant reduction in beta-cell mass. MCH was also seen to enhance insulin secretion in vitro in human and mouse islets and rodent beta-cell lines. It is believed that MCH acts through its own receptor, so that MCH, its receptor, and other components of its signaling pathway can serve as targets for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes and other insulin-related disorders. Clinical & Commercial Utility: The invention features novel approaches to the treatment of diabetes and insulin-related disorders, based on this newly discovered role for MCH. For example, the invention includes methods of modulating pancreatic function (e.g., insulin secretion) or growth (beta-cell size and growth) by modulating the hormone’s signaling pathway. In general, up-regulating the signaling pathway will result in increased pancreatic function, and this can be accomplished by administration of MCH or peptide fragments thereof. In addition, the invention provides a means of culturing or propagating islet cells or beta-cells, by growing such cells in the presence of MCH or in combination with another agent that stimulates the signaling pathway. The inventors’ research providing the basis for the patent claims has been published in Pissios et al., Diabetes 56:311-319 (2007).
Joslin Diabetes Center is the owner of U.S. Patent Numbers: 7,101,845 7,256,176

Type of Offer: Licensing

Next Patent »
« More Medical Patents

Share on      

CrowdSell Your Patent