Savefor later Page saved! You can go back to this later in your Diabetes and Me Close

The pancreas-liver-gut partnership in type 2

Project summary

The pancreas-liver-gut axis are a group of organs that work together to control blood sugar levels. Changes in blood flow in these organs have been found in type 2 diabetes. Professor Murphy plans to understand these blood flow changes better and see if they hold the answer to improving current type 2 diabetes treatments or finding new ones. 

Background to research

The pancreas, liver and gut sit next to each other, acting as a team to keep blood sugar levels normal. We know that these organs ‘talk’ to each other by using hormone messaging signals. But scientists think they may also be working together in other ways to help control blood sugar. 

One of those ways is through the flow of blood in the organs. This has been found to be changed in those with type 2 diabetes. We don’t know yet why this is or what it means.

But Professor Murphy and his team are on the case and have developed a new ultrasound technique to look at this. Being able to see blood flow can also give clues about the cells that the blood is flowing to, including to insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

Research aims

Professor Murphy aims to see if changes in the small blood vessels in the pancreas, liver and gut are important in controlling blood sugar levels. 

He plans to improve the new ultrasound technique to get even better information about blood flow related to type 2 diabetes. He can use this to get a precise picture of how pancreas, liver and gut blood flow works together in mice to control their blood sugars.  He’ll then look at how this system goes wrong as type 2 diabetes develops.   

Professor Murphy then plans to go one step further. He’ll see how blood flow to these organs is changed by commonly used diabetes treatments and whether improving blood flow can treat type 2 diabetes. 

Potential benefit to people with diabetes

This study will help us understand how type 2 diabetes develops and could reveal new ways of treating type 2, by altering blood flow, or of identifying who is most at risk of the condition. The ultrasound technique may also prove to be really useful in monitoring the progression of someone’s type 2 diabetes and the effects of treatments, to make sure they’re optimised.

Back to Top
Brand Icons/Telephonecheck - FontAwesomeicons/tickicons/uk