APS Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology

Advances in Neuroendocrine-Metabolic Axis

Symposium — Tuesday, April 5, 2022 — 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM — Convention Center, Room 203B
Endocrinology and Metabolism Section — Chair: Bashair M Mussa — Co-Chair: Salah Abusnana

Glucose is considered as the main source of energy for the human brain, and this creates a delicate interrelationship between various metabolic processes and the neurological functions. Reduction in glucose beyond the physiological levels leads to activation of robust counter-regulatory response (CRR) which involves glucose-sensitive neurons within several brain areas. The latter include the hypothalamus and the rostral ventro-lateral medulla which activate the sympathetic nervous system that, in turn, stimulates adreno-medullary response leading to full awareness of hypoglycemia. Blunted CRR leads to hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure (HAAF).  In metabolic disorders such diabetes mellitus (DM), the responses of the pancreatic islets to hypoglycemia are disabled therefore, the body mainly depends on autonomic-adreno-medullary regulatory system to correct the hypoglycemia. HAAF represents a challenge for patients with DM who depend on insulin as a first line treatment and associated incidence of hypoglycemia unawareness which can lead to coma and death due to the absence of corrective actions. Furthermore, recent investigations have highlighted the adverse impact of glycemic variability on several central nervous system outcomes including increased rates of cerebrovascular events, white matter hyperintensities, and cognitive decline.  In addition to the direct effect of glucose on the brain functions, there is a wide range of gastrointestinal molecules that influence the metabolic homeostasis via direct actions on the brain including leptin, glucagon-like peptides, ghrelin, cholecystokinin, and bile acids. Recently, these molecules received much attention due to their involvement in very sophisticate feedback processes to maintain the glucose homeostasis.  In addition, these molecules create a significant potentiality for future therapeutic targets for metabolic disorders including DM and obesity. Although during the last decade several efforts were exerted to highlight the role of gastrointestinal molecules in glucose homeostasis, the exact mechanisms that shape this neuroendocrine-metabolic axis are yet to be revealed. It is of great interest to discuss the research updates and advances that are related to the neuroendocrine-metabolic axis and therefore, the present symposium aims to give comprehensive and insightful views about three main areas:

(i)             Hypoglycemia: control of counter-regulatory hormone secretion by the brain (by Tony Verberne, University of Melbourne-Australia).

(ii)           Between a rock and a hard place: The impact of glycaemic variability on the brain in diabetes (by Prof Rory McCrimmon, University of Dundee-UK)

(iii)         Bile acid action in the brain (Prof Tony Lam, University of Toronto-Canada)


  • Introduction
    Bashair M Mussa — College of Medicine, University of Sharjah
    1:30 PM - 1:35 PM

  • Hypoglycemia: Control of Counter-Regulatory Hormone Secretion by the Brain
    Anthony J. Verberne — Medicine, University of Melbourne
    1:35 PM - 2:00 PM

  • Hypoglycemia – Taking a Double Edged Sword to the Brain
    Rory J McCrimmon — School of Medicine, University of Dundee
    2:00 PM - 2:25 PM

  • Bile Acid Action in the Brain
    Tony Lam — Physiology - Medicine, University of Toronto
    2:25 PM - 2:50 PM

  • Close
    Salah Abusnana — Diabetes and Endocrinology, University Hospital Sharjah - University of Sharjah
    2:50 PM - 3:00 PM

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