Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Connecting Diabetes And Inflammation

Date:
July 26, 2007
Source:
University of Virginia
Summary:
It has long been known that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The body attacks the islet cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. In recent years, the immune system has also been implicated in type 2 diabetes -- in particular imbalances in cytokines, an immune system component that causes inflammation.

Jerry Nadler.
Credit: Photo: Tom Cogill

It has long been known that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The body attacks the islet cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. In recent years, the immune system has also been implicated in type 2 diabetes — in particular imbalances in cytokines, an immune system component that causes inflammation.

These imbalances become especially marked as people become obese. Dr. Jerry Nadler and his colleagues are investigating the role of a key gene — 12/15-LO (12/15-lipoxygenase ) — that has been implicated in the immune-system induced inflammatory effects linked to both forms of diabetes and their complications.

It is not obesity in and of itself that causes type 2 diabetes. Research done with knockout mice — mice that are genetically engineered to have inoperative genes — has demonstrated that the 12/15-LO gene is the culprit. Knockout mice that lack the 12/15-LO gene do not develop diabetes, even when fed an extremely high-fat diet. This gene is present in the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, and when activated causes the cells to malfunction. It is also expressed by macrophages, a type of white blood cell. “Under normal conditions, this gene is probably involved in cell development,” Nadler says. “It’s only in pathologic conditions that the gene is activated in adults.”

Macrophages appear in high concentrations in fatty tissue. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Nadler has traced the mechanism by which the presence of large numbers of fat cells stimulate the macrophages to activate the 12/15-LO gene, and has documented the cascade of inflammatory reactions that results. He has found that the 12/15-LO gene produces two proteins that convert fatty acids into cytokines.

Nadler’s work suggests a number of approaches for therapies. With funding from the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, he is developing a diagnostic test to measure the activation of this gene in people. Working with Dr. Ross Isaacs, associate professor of medicine, he is developing a test to identify one of the proteins produced by 12/15-LO, a substance called 12[S]-HETE (12[S]-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid). “This could serve as an early marker of kidney disease,” Nadler says.

In Nadler’s view, blocking 12/15-LO activation could provide a new therapeutic way to protect pancreatic beta cells from inflammation. “This is a particularly promising line of research,” Nadler says. “The expression of this gene is also implicated in heart and blood vessel disease and in nerve cell death associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”

Nadler is also collaborating with Dr. Marcia McDuffie, professor of microbiology, to identify the role of 12/15-LO in type 1 diabetes. Eliminating the gene in a mouse model provides over 90 percent protection from developing the disease, an exciting early result.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Virginia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Virginia. "Connecting Diabetes And Inflammation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722105802.htm>.
University of Virginia. (2007, July 26). Connecting Diabetes And Inflammation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722105802.htm
University of Virginia. "Connecting Diabetes And Inflammation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722105802.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins