In a major study, researchers claimed that people who get migraines are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and some of those who develop diabetes become less prone to migraines.
The researchers looked into the link how the peptides that cause migraine pain can influence production of insulin in mice, possibly by regulating the amount of secreted insulin or by increasing the number of pancreatic cells that produce it. These findings could improve methods to prevent or treat diabetes.
The research paper will be presented at the fall meeting of the American Chemical ACS. The ACS Fall 2021 is a hybrid meeting held virtually and in-person Aug 22-26, and on-demand content will be available Aug. 30-Sept. 30.
The meeting features more than 7.000 presentations on a wide range of science topics. Project’s principal investigator Thanh Do said that the link between the two diseases isn’t obvious. “Migraines happen in the brain, while diabetes is associated with the pancreas, and these organs are far from each other. Do said.
The Researchers already know that two peptides in the nervous system – calcitoningen related peptide (CGRP) and pituitary adenylate cyclise activating polypeptide (PACAM) –play a major role in causing the pain of migraine. These same peptides along with the related peptide amylin, are also found in the pancreas.
Insulin regulates blood sugar levels by helping other cells in the body absorb glucose and either store it or use it for energy. In type 2 diabetes, those other cells become resistant to insulin and less capable of absorbing glucose, leading to high blood sugar levels.
To probe the peptides activity in mice, Do’s University of Tennessee group method to glean data from just a few hundred Beta cells. They recently reported that this technique showed that CGRP lowered levels of mouse insulin 2 , the analog of human insulin. This may counter the insulin resistance that develops in type 2 diabetes. But CGRP was less effective at regulating mouse insulin I, which agrees with early studies showing that mice with only insulin 1 are prone to developing diabetes.
PACAP, too is thought to play a protective role in type 2 diabetes. That’s confusing since PACAP has been shown to stimulate insulin release, which leads to insulin resistance, Do says. His team is now trying to solve this conundrum. The group’s initial findings show that PACAP’s actions could spend on glucose levels. The team has found preliminary evidence that PACAP regulates insulin in a glucose-dependent manner and promotes beta cell proliferation, rather than prodding existing beta cells to work harder.
Despite these positive results, you can’t inject CGRP and PACAP into the body as therapeutic strategies for diabetes because these peptides cause migraine pain, Do says.