ST. LOUIS, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Researchers found a way to lower glucose production in the livers of mice, lowering levels of blood sugar in their bodies, potentially offering a new method of treatment for type 2 diabetes.
Many treatments for type 2 diabetes work by making the body more sensitive to insulin, which is the hormone that lowers blood sugar.
Previous research has shown that reducing glucose production by interfering with the function of a protein in the liver was possible, however the new study is the first to successfully do so, the researchers said.
"We think this strategy could lead to more effective drugs for type 2 diabetes," Dr. Brian Finck, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington in St. Louis, said in a press release. "A drug that shuts down glucose production has the potential to help millions of people affected by the most common form of diabetes."
Using an experimental compound called MSDC-0602 in mice, researchers showed they could inhibit a protein that helps to transport pyruvate, a component of glucose, from the bloodstream into mitochondria, the part of a cell that makes its energy.
Researchers think that preventing the production of glucose could provide a better way of treating diabetes, as well as helping patients who have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The study is published in Cell Metabolism.