Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Low Birthweight Link to Diabetes May Be Due to Decreased Formation of Blood Vessels

20.06.2003


Animal Models Offer Newborn Opportunity to Permanently Rescue Insulin-making Cells and Possibly Even Protect Against Future Onset



A common condition that leads to low birthweight babies may predispose the infants to obesity and diabetes later in life by denying cells in the pancreas access to the chemical signals they need to mature, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Moreover, the condition, which they have successfully modeled in rodents, may be reversed soon after birth by the administration of hormones that stimulate the maturation of the pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin. Their findings suggest a way of preventing diabetes in people at-risk for the disease by boosting the creation of beta cells soon after birth.

According to Rebecca A. Simmons, MD, assistant professor in Penn’s Department of Pediatrics, "the condition, called intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), is generally caused by the inability of a developing fetus to receive adequate nutrition and can effect as many as one in 10 newborns." Diminished fetal growth is due to a number of different processes such as high blood pressure and intrauterine infections. Epidemiological studies have also shown that there is a strong link between IUGR and the development of obesity and diabetes in adulthood. The Penn researchers believe the link may be due to the decreased formation of blood vessels in the pancreas.


"Our findings show that the blood vessels themselves - not just a signal carried in the blood - appear to provide a signal for pancreatic islets to mature normally in the fetus," said Doris A. Stoffers, MD, PhD, assistant professor in Penn’s Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. "The defect in the blood vessels may be involved in the later loss of beta cells within islets, which leads to diabetes."

Stoffers, Simmons and colleagues reported their findings in the March 2003 issue of the journal Diabetes, which they and have expanded upon today at a poster session at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society being held in Philadelphia.

The researchers also found that exendin-4, an analog of a pancreatic hormone, normalizes beta-cells, the cells within the pancreatic islets that produce insulin.

"Soon after birth, there is a normal period in which the endocrine function of the pancreas is still being remodeled through periods of increased cell growth and differentiation, as the newborn’s body is putting the finishing touches on the endocrine system," said Stoffers. "It is a critical period that, in our IUGR rodents, can be dramatically rescued by exendin-4, which prevents the progressive reduction of insulin-producing beta-cells."

In addition to a life-long normalization of sugar tolerance, the researchers observed that the animal models maintained a healthy number of beta-cells as well as a normal body weight. Their studies suggest that exendin-4 stimulates beta cells by influencing PDX, a protein that mediates how the pancreas responds to sugar by triggering the production of insulin. PDX is also thought to have a role in islet regeneration in adults. Therefore, the researchers believe that exendin-4 and related substances show promise in the treatment of diabetes not only because the restorative effects of exendin-4 on beta-cells, but also because of its potential to regulate PDX and thereby expand the amount of beta-cells overall.

"It seems that there is a window of opportunity to prevent the development of human adult-onset diabetes by treating newborns," said Stoffers and Simmons. "If this research translates into humans, then we can envision a way to prevent the development of adult onset diabetes-- by increasing the amount of beta-cells that children will carry with them into adulthood."

Other contributors to this research include Biva M. Desai and Michael Crutchlow of Penn and Diva D. DeLeon, of Penn and The Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia.

The ongoing research of Drs. Stoffers and Simmons is supported by grants made by the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and the Pennsylvania Diabetes Center.

Contact: Greg Lester, lesterg@uphs.upenn.edu

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.med.upenn.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New switch decides between genome repair and death of cells
27.09.2016 | University of Cologne - Universität zu Köln

nachricht A blue stoplight to prevent runaway photosynthesis
27.09.2016 | National Institute for Basic Biology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New switch decides between genome repair and death of cells

27.09.2016 | Life Sciences

Nanotechnology for energy materials: Electrodes like leaf veins

27.09.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

‘Missing link’ found in the development of bioelectronic medicines

27.09.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>