Glucagon moleculeGlucagon molecule

The Endocrine Society's family of journals selected the research of UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center’s Director Anath Shalev, M.D., to be featured in the Endocrine Society Thematic Issue on Diabetes 2023.

Shalev’s paper, “Alpha cell TXNIP deletion improves diabetes-associated hyperglycemia and hyperglucagonemia” was published in the journal Endocrinology, one of the Endocrine Society’s top scientific journals. Selections were made from across four different journals and were guided by Altmetric Attention Scores and Featured Article designations.

An Altmetric Score is a measure of how many times an article has been shared or cited. This could be through citations, news stories, tweets, or more. The score is a litmus test for a research paper’s “buzz” throughout the research world and beyond.

The executive editor further commented that the journal was delighted with the peer recognition, visibility, and readership impact the paper has received.

The goal of the research was to explore TXNIP knockout in alpha cells. The team of researchers, including first author Brian Lu, found that when diabetic mice had their TXNIP knocked out in pancreatic alpha cells (aTKO), they showed improvement in glucose tolerance and lower blood glucose levels compared to their control littermates.

While no changes in insulin were observed, the diabetes-associated increase in glucagon was blunted in these mice and glucagon secretion from aTKO islets was significantly reduced.

Thus, the researchers concluded that downregulation of alpha cell TXNIP is associated with reduced glucagon secretion and that this may contribute to the glucose-lowering effects observed in diabetic aTKO mice.

The studies thereby shed new light onto the regulation of glucagon secretion and the role of TXNIP in non-beta cells, providing critical information for the development of novel treatment approaches to better regulate glucose control in those affected by diabetes.

“We’re incredibly proud that our research is featured in this Endocrine Society’s Thematic Issue on Diabetes 2023,” said Lu. “It is an honor for the entire lab and a testament to the strides that we are taking to improve the lives of those with diabetes.”