Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new blueprint to aid physicians in predicting risk for type 1 diabetes

28.10.2005


Undiscovered protein may help identify those whose disease will progress rapidly



Researchers have discovered a combination of tests that can more accurately predict who will develop type 1 diabetes. In the process, they’ve also uncovered signs of a new protein that may forecast a more rapidly developing form of the disease. Together, these findings could help researchers screen patients for clinical trials that eventually may lead to a vaccine or cure for type 1 diabetes.

"We can’t use a vaccine to prevent type 1 diabetes in the general population, like we do for polio, because we don’t know if the vaccine will cause harm or effectively prevent the disease. So we have to identify people at risk first," said Massimo Pietropaolo, MD, a researcher in the Diabetes Institute at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. "Our study and the new research it leads to will help us better predict risk of type 1 diabetes and identify those who can be involved in major trials in the United States and around the world."


Dr. Pietropaolo, who also is an associate professor of pediatrics, medicine and immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as well as an associate professor of epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, spoke today at an American Medical Association briefing, Diabetes: Understanding & Advancements, in New York City. He and other researchers from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh began their study, to be published in the December issue of the journal Pediatric Diabetes, by looking at both older and newer methods of assessing risk for type 1 diabetes in family members of those with the disease.

Older assays, or chemical tests, predict risk for type 1 diabetes by identifying what are called islet cell antibodies. These are produced when the body’s immune system fails to recognize insulin-generating islet cells produced by the pancreas as self, and attacks them as if they were foreign cells. The islet cell antibodies are markers of an attack on the insulin-producing islet cells of the pancreas by the body’s own white cells (T cells) as if the islet cells were outside invaders, thereby decreasing the body’s ability to produce the insulin that helps cells convert sugar into energy.

Newer tests use biochemical markers to detect islet autoantibodies, and these autoantibody responses signify a cause and effect relationship between type 1 diabetes and autoimmune phenomena targeting pancreatic insulin-producing cells. "In the mid 1990s, we found that a combination of autoantibodies could predict type 1 diabetes over time in individuals at risk of developing type 1 diabetes," Dr. Pietropaolo said. "However, there were some patients who were positive for a combination of these biochemical markers but still did not develop type 1 diabetes."

Anytime a marker is used to predict disease, there is some margin of error. But Dr. Pietropaolo and his coauthors wondered if they could do better and if the older assay held the key. In the new study, they looked at both levels of islet cell antibodies and biochemical markers of autoantibodies in 1,484 first-degree relatives of people with type 1 diabetes.

Those who tested positive for the two most commonly recognized autoantibodies had a 14 percent risk of developing type 1 diabetes after 10 years. However, those who displayed those two autoantibodies along with islet cell antibodies had an 80 percent risk after just 6.7 years. "The surprise was that by using these older assays in combination with the newer tests, we were able to more accurately predict type 1 diabetes in the family members of those with type 1 diabetes," Dr. Pietropaolo said.

In addition, family members with a certain subtype of islet cell antibody developed type 1 diabetes after fewer years than others. The study authors suspect that this antibody subtype is recognizing and attacking a previously unknown protein associated with insulin requiring diabetes.

"We now have the tools to predict type 1 diabetes, particularly in relatives of type 1 diabetic patients," said Dr. Pietropaolo. "This paper also opens up a lot of research in the future to identify this new marker associated with rapid progression to type 1 diabetes." Work is now under way in Dr. Pietropaolo’s lab to determine exactly what the new protein is and how it may cause the disease to advance more quickly.

Marc Lukasiak | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ama-assn.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University

nachricht Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>