SFE2006 Symposia AMPK systems (4 abstracts)
Preservation of a functional pancreatic beta cell mass is essential for normal blood glucose homeostasis. The molecular mechanisms through which beta cells sense changes in blood glucose concentration and decode these as enhanced insulin release will be discussed. I shall describe evidence that AMP-activated protein kinase is a key part of this machinery, implicated both in the acute regulation of insulin and in the regulation of beta cell apoptosis. I shall also discuss the hypothesis that AMPK is a critical regulator of hypothalamic neuronal function, involved in the regulation of satiety and body weight.