Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cystic fibrosis and diabetes link explained

02.06.2014

Many people with cystic fibrosis develop diabetes. The reasons for this have been largely unknown, but now researchers at Lund University in Sweden and Karolinska institutet have identified a molecular mechanism that contributes to the raised diabetes risk.

"The increased risk of diabetes has previously been explained by the fact that cystic fibrosis causes damage to the pancreas, where the blood-sugar regulating hormone insulin is produced. We are the first research group to show that the mutated gene that causes cystic fibrosis also plays an important role in the release of insulin. The risk of diabetes is not only explained by the destruction of the pancreas", said Anna Edlund, a doctoral student at Lund University Diabetes Centre.

Cystic fibrosis is the result of a genetic mutation in an ion channel that normally regulates salt transport in cells, primarily in the lungs and pancreas. The mutation leads to a wide variety of symptoms. Individuals with cystic fibrosis produce a lot of thick, viscous mucus. This makes their airways sensitive to infection, and repeated or chronic lung infections are common. The secretion of pancreatic juice from the pancreas to the intestine is hindered, which causes diarrhoea and poor weight gain.

Left untreated, cystic fibrosis is fatal, but with improved treatment of symptoms, survival has improved. Many people with cystic fibrosis now live beyond the age of 40.

"Cystic Fibrosis is a severe health condition and diabetes exacerbates an already problematic situation", said Malin Flodström-Tullberg, a researcher at the Centre for Infectious Medicine, Karolinska institutet.

Many people with cystic fibrosis have poor sugar metabolism. At the age of 30, around one in four people with cystic fibrosis also has diabetes that requires treatment with insulin. What the researchers have now shown is that the mutation in the cystic fibrosis gene inhibits the secretion of insulin into the blood, which means that the level is insufficient when the demands on the insulin increase, such as after a meal.

"Normally, insulin is released in two stages. The early stage is a rapid response to raised blood sugar and the later stage aims to restore blood sugar levels. In cystic fibrosis, the early stage of insulin release in particular is insufficient", said Anna Edlund, adding:

"Our results also correspond to clinical observations. Many patients with cystic fibrosis who do not have diabetes have normal blood sugar in a fasting state, but raised blood sugar after a meal."

The researchers have worked on insulin producing cells from mice and deceased donors. They have shown that the cystic fibrosis gene plays an important role in the complex chain of events that precedes the release of insulin.

When the cells were exposed to high glucose levels, they responded as expected by increasing insulin secretion, but when a preparation that specifically obstructs the ion channel expressed by the cystic fibrosis gene was added, the cells' ability to release insulin fell significantly.

"Despite being common among cystic fibrosis patients, surprisingly little is known about the mechanisms behind diabetes in this group of individuals. We need to know what causes the problem in order to develop preventive treatments that improve the cells' ability to secrete insulin. Our study provide a first piece of increased understanding how CFTR contribute to insulin secretion", said Lena Eliasson, Professor at Lund University Diabetes Centre.

Lena Eliasson | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Diabetes ability blood cystic destruction fibrosis pancreas secretion sugar

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>