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Research shows a cause of gastrointestinal symptoms in Type 1 diabetes

Excess of growth factor binding protein damages colon-maintaining stem cells

Date:
October 1, 2015
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Summary:
A molecular basis has been found for why 80 percent of patients with longstanding Type 1 diabetes have chronic gastrointestinal symptoms including gastroparesis (delayed emptying of food), irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal distension and fecal incontinence, significantly reducing their quality of life.
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Research published Oct. 1 provides a molecular basis for why 80 percent of patients with longstanding Type 1 diabetes have chronic gastrointestinal symptoms including gastroparesis (delayed emptying of food), irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal distension and fecal incontinence, significantly reducing their quality of life. These symptoms are collectively called diabetic enteropathy. The cause of diabetic enteropathy was previously unknown.

Franco Folli, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine in the Diabetes Division of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is co-author on the findings presented in Cell Stem Cell. The studies were carried out by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy, led by Paolo Fiorina, M.D., Ph.D.

"Intestinal tissues from diabetic patients and healthy individuals were compared," Dr. Folli said. "In patients with Type 1 diabetes, the cell lining of the intestine was damaged. The stem cells that maintain this lining, called colonic stem cells, were altered. The culprit is found in a protein called insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3), which is produced in the liver and in higher amounts in type 1 diabetes. IGFBP3 binds to a receptor protein on colonic stem cells causing their death and, in turn, damaging the intestinal lining."

The team also experimented with a biopharmaceutical that blocks circulating levels of the protein. Studies in diabetic mice, also presented in Cell Stem Cell, show that the drug can reverse the colon damage.

"This is a very exciting finding, obtained by studying patients' cells, that has the potential to result in a new treatment for this chronic complication of longstanding Type 1 diabetes," Dr. Folli said.


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Materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Francesca D’Addio, Stefano La Rosa, Anna Maestroni, Peter Jung, Elena Orsenigo, Moufida Ben Nasr, Sara Tezza, Roberto Bassi, Giovanna Finzi, Alessandro Marando, Andrea Vergani, Roberto Frego, Luca Albarello, Annapaola Andolfo, Roberta Manuguerra, Edi Viale, Carlo Staudacher, Domenico Corradi, Eduard Batlle, David Breault, Antonio Secchi, Franco Folli, Paolo Fiorina. Circulating IGF-I and IGFBP3 Levels Control Human Colonic Stem Cell Function and Are Disrupted in Diabetic Enteropathy. Cell Stem Cell, 2015; 17 (4): 486 DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2015.07.010

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Research shows a cause of gastrointestinal symptoms in Type 1 diabetes: Excess of growth factor binding protein damages colon-maintaining stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151001165025.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. (2015, October 1). Research shows a cause of gastrointestinal symptoms in Type 1 diabetes: Excess of growth factor binding protein damages colon-maintaining stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151001165025.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Research shows a cause of gastrointestinal symptoms in Type 1 diabetes: Excess of growth factor binding protein damages colon-maintaining stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151001165025.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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