Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Find Previously Unseen Effects of Protein Buildup in Diabetic Baboons' Pancreases

22.07.2009
Protein buildup changes the microenvironment of a key area of the pancreas, resulting in a hormone imbalance that ultimately leads to type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and collaborating institutions.

Undesirable protein deposits in the islets of Langerhans, the area of the pancreas that makes glucose-controlling hormones, are increased even when blood sugar levels are barely above normal, according to a newly published study by diabetes researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

These deposits worsen as glucose increases, which is the key finding of the study, said Franco Folli, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. He is senior author and principal investigator of the study article published in the July 20-24 online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers examined pancreatic tissue of 150 baboons that had died of natural causes, including diabetes. The team collaborated with the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, which has a National Primate Research Center with a nonhuman primate model of type 2 diabetes mellitus. “Diabetes researchers, including us, have shown that baboons develop type 2 diabetes and obesity as it is observed in humans,” Dr. Folli said. “These conditions are a major health concern in Texas and the U.S.”

The deposits of a protein hormone, called Islet Amyloid Polypeptide (IAPP), somehow shift the microenvironment of the islets of Langerhans, the authors noted, making it toxic to cells that produce insulin, which lowers blood glucose levels. At the same time, the microenvironment promotes the replication of cells that produce a second hormone, glucagon, which raises blood glucose levels. The cells that produce insulin are called beta cells; the cells that produce glucagon are called alpha cells.

“For reasons we don’t fully understand, beta cells die in the amyloid-altered environment, but alpha cells proliferate,” Dr. Folli said. “It’s really an imbalance. Both activities are not normal and produce an undesirable effect, ultimately type 2 diabetes.”

Scientists have long known that glucagon is increased in type 2 diabetes, but had no explanation for this phenomenon. The team’s finding of alpha cell multiplication in the damaged islets of Langerhans is therefore intriguing. “Finally we have a very plausible explanation of the increased glucagon levels,” Dr. Folli said.

The study’s first author is Rodolfo Guardado-Mendoza M.D., Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Folli and Ralph Defronzo, M.D., in the Health Science Center’s Department of Medicine/ Division of Diabetes. Collaborating entities included the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, the Health Science Center Department of Surgery, and Mexican and Italian centers.

A grant from the National Institutes of Health was recently awarded to Dr. Folli to support this research program, in collaboration with Anthony Comuzzie, Ph.D., of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research.

About the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio:

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 26,400 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields.

Will Sansom | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uthscsa.edu

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>