Losartan prevents life-threatening insulin resistance in burn injuries

SAN FRANCISCO Researchers have found a way to prevent insulin resistance in burn-injured rats, a finding that, while still quite preliminary, could eventually save burn victims' lives and speed their recovery.

The researchers honed in on the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) as the key to preventing insulin resistance -- a unique line of inquiry in burn research, according to lead author Sherry O. Kasper. About 70% of serious burn victims develop insulin resistance, a condition marked by elevated levels of glucose and insulin.

Reversing the condition has the potential to reduce mortality, length of stay in intensive care and infection rates among severe burn patients, Kasper said. The American Physiological Society (APS) awarded Kasper a Caroline tum Suden/Frances A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award in recognition of the exemplary research. Kasper also received the Mead Johnson Research Award in Endocrinology and Metabolism for the best abstract in endocrinology and metabolism by a graduate student, resident or postdoctoral fellow.

*Paper presentation: "Thermal injury induced insulin resistance is associated with the renin-angiotensin system (RAS)" 12:45 p.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, Metabolism During Stress and Trauma 928.2/board #D407. On view 7:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. Research was by Sherry O. Kasper, Scott M. Castle, Brian J. Daley, Blaine L. Enderson, Michael D. Karlstad, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, TN.

Drug blocks RAS

Insulin resistance occurs when the body senses glucose overload and attempts to reduce it by producing more insulin. When the additional insulin is unable to moderate the glucose, the body releases even more insulin. The result: elevated levels of both glucose and insulin. Burn-related insulin resistance can last for months, Kasper said.

Kasper became interested in RAS while studying the system as it relates to diabetes, blood pressure and aging. Karlstad,

Contact: Christine Guilfoy
American Physiological Society

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