A collaboration of scientists from Harvard Medical School and Dartmouth Medical School has developed a new mouse model of lipoatrophic diabetes, and highlighted leptin therapy as a successful tool to combat this rare form of type II diabetes.
Lipoatrophic diabetes mellitus is characterized by a lack of subcutaneous fat (lipoatrophy), high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), and high blood insulin (hyperinsulinemia). Because patients with lipoatrophic diabetes are insulin-resistant, although high levels of insulin accumulate in their bloodstream, glucose is not efficiently delivered to their bodys cells, eventually resulting in severe eye, kidney, nerve and cardiovascular problems. A relatively rare disease in humans, lipoatrophic diabetes is thought to have a strong genetic component.
With the new model of lipoatrophic diabetes that Dr. Ronald Kahn and colleagues have developed, scientists are gaining valuable insight into the genetic pathway of this disease. "This model also points out how two genetic traits, neither of which alone can produce diabetes, can interact to produce a very severe diabetic state," states Dr. Kahn.
Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
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