Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Type 1 Diabetes May Result From Good Genes Behaving Badly

Date:
September 22, 2008
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
New research suggests that type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that develops in children and young adults, may not be due to bad genes but rather to good genes behaving badly.

New research from Stanford University scientists suggests that type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that develops in children and young adults, may not be due to bad genes but rather to good genes behaving badly.

Because type 1 diabetes typically runs in families, scientists have looked for inborn genetic errors or gene variants passed on from generation to generation. Although this search has failed to find a single type 1 diabetes gene, many candidate type 1 diabetes susceptibility genes have been identified. These susceptibility genes, located in a region known as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), help the body distinguish its own cells and tissues from those that are foreign.

Studies in identical twins, however, reveal that the situation is more complicated: often one twin develops type 1 diabetes while the other twin remains disease-free. This pattern of good luck/bad luck led researchers at Stanford to examine whether genetically at-risk individuals respond differently to environmental stimuli. In some cases, the immune system will respond in a benign fashion, while in other cases it will begin an inflammatory response that can ultimately lead to diabetes. The critical difference between health and disease might thus reside not in an individual's genetic blueprint but in how those genes are "expressed"--that is, how the translation of genetic information into proteins or RNA is switched on and off.

In a study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, (NIAID) part of the National Institutes of Health, the Stanford team, led by C. Garrison Fathman, M.D., studied differences in gene expression between two groups of mice. The first group, non-obese diabetic mice, spontaneously develop type 1 diabetes. The second group, mice genetically identical to the first group except for their MHC genes, do not develop the disease.

The researchers looked at gene expression in three different tissues in the diabetic and non-diabetic mice at separate times after birth. In the first few weeks of life, they found an explosion of changes in gene expression in the pancreatic lymph nodes, spleen and circulating blood cells of the diabetic mice compared with those in the non-diabetic mice. At 8 weeks, this activity had quieted down. But several weeks later, when the mice were 12 weeks old, a second explosion of changes in gene expression occurred in the diabetic mice in all three tissues examined: pancreatic lymph nodes, spleen and blood cells.

According to Dr. Fathman, the results suggest that type 1 diabetes may not result from genetic mutations but from differences in how normal genes and gene variants are turned on and off during disease progression. In addition to identifying altered genes that may indicate potential avenues for therapeutic or preventive treatments, the authors also found patterns of coordinated gene expression that may prove useful as biomarkers of disease onset or progression.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kodama et al. Tissue- and age-specific changes in gene expression during disease induction and progression in NOD mice. Clinical Immunology, 2008; DOI: 10.1016/j.clim.2008.07.028

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Type 1 Diabetes May Result From Good Genes Behaving Badly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919142650.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2008, September 22). Type 1 Diabetes May Result From Good Genes Behaving Badly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919142650.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Type 1 Diabetes May Result From Good Genes Behaving Badly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919142650.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects revised CDC protocols on Ebola to focus on training, observation and ensuring health care workers are more protected. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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