Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Malfunctioning bone marrow cells sabotage nerve cells in diabetes

23.08.2005


Malfunctioning bone marrow cells that produce insulin appear to cause a dangerous nerve condition called neuropathy that disables many people with diabetes, said a research team led by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.



The report from researchers at BCM, Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan, and the University of Chicago appears online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The finding not only provides a basis for understanding the dangerous nerve condition in diabetics, but could eventually lead to a treatment for this problem, said Dr. Lawrence Chan, chief of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism at BCM. It may even provide an explanation for some of the other complications associated with the disease.


"These insulin-producing bone marrow cells are like terrorists that infiltrate the nerve-cell populations," he said. They produce proteins that can kill or subvert the purposes of nerve cells "almost like a suicide bomb," said Chan.

Diabetes mellitus, which afflicts roughly 18 million Americans, is a major health problem that affects multiple organs and tissues. Diabetes can be treated. However, treatment does not ward off many of the complications. Neuropathy is a common complication that causes pain and ultimately loss of sensation in the extremities and can lead to amputation.

Previously, Chan and members of his laboratory had found that bone marrow cells were among a group of cells in organs other than the pancreas that unexpectedly produced small amounts of insulin. In pursuing that finding, he and his colleagues found that the bone marrow cells that produced insulin adversely affected nerve cells or neurons.

"In our latest studies, we were surprised to discover that insulin-producing cells originating from bone marrow caused premature cell death and dysfunction when they merged with neurons, resulting in neuropathy," said Chan.

"It all began several years ago, when we were developing gene therapy to cure diabetes in mice. By chance, we observed insulin-producing bone marrow cells outside the pancreas, and wondered why these cells were migrating to other organs and whether they were detrimental or beneficial," said Chan.

In pursuit of this curious phenomenon, Drs. Tomoya Terashima and Hideto Kojima from BCM and Dr. Mineko Fujimiya of Shiga University of Medical Science in Shiga, Japan, in collaboration with Chan, performed numerous experiments in diabetic rats and mice. Their work defined the role of the aberrant cells in causing neuropathy.

They found that, in diabetes, only nerve cells that have fused with bone marrow cells display the abnormal function and premature death found in neuropathy. Nerve cells that have not merged with the insulin-producing bone marrow cells remain intact and function normally.

"Based on these findings, we speculate that a similar process contributes to some, if not all, of the other chronic complications of diabetes, and we look forward to pursuing this possibility. Discovering an underlying cause of diabetic neuropathy may enable us to design treatment strategies to prevent this complication in the future," concluded Chan.

April Sutton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>