Sunday June 16, 2019

New Approach for Treating Diseases Like Diabetes and Cancer

Enhanced activation of Vitamin D by protecting beta cells may be a potential new approach for treating diabetes as well as other diseases, including cancer, researchers have suggested.

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The researchers found that Vitamin D in cells and mouse models can be beneficial in treating these damaged beta cells.
Representational image, pixabay

Enhanced activation of Vitamin D by protecting beta cells may be a potential new approach for treating diabetes as well as other diseases, including cancer, researchers have suggested.

When beta cells — the cells in the pancreas that produce, store and release the hormone insulin — become dysfunctional, the body cannot make insulin to control blood sugar (glucose) and levels of glucose can rise to dangerous and even fatal levels.

The researchers found that Vitamin D in cells and mouse models can be beneficial in treating these damaged beta cells.

They also provided new insights about gene regulation that could be applied to developing treatments for other diseases, including cancer.

“We know that diabetes is a disease caused by inflammation. We identified the Vitamin D receptor as an important modulator of both inflammation and beta cell survival,” said Ronald Evans, from Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, US.

Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells.
Representational image, pixabay

Using beta cells created from embryonic stem cells, the team was able to identify a compound — iBRD9 — that appeared to enhance the activation of the Vitamin D receptor when it was combined with Vitamin D to improve the survival of beta cells.

In the paper, published in the journal Cell, the team conducted a screening test to look for compounds that improved the survival of beta cells in a dish. They then tested the combination in a mouse model of diabetes and showed that it could bring glucose back to normal levels in the animals.

Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells.

“Activating the vitamin D receptor can trigger the anti-inflammatory function of genes to help cells survive under stressed conditions,” explained Michael Downes, from the institute.

Also Read: A Drug That Can Potentially Cure Hair Loss

The researchers noted that although the new compound did not appear to cause any side effects in the mice, further testing is needed before clinical trials can begin. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Find Drug to Delay Type-1 Diabetes by Two Years

The effects of the drug were greatest in the first year after it was given, said the study published online in The New England Journal of Medicine

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Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

In a first, researchers have found that a treatment affecting the immune system effectively slowed the progression to clinical Type-1 diabetes in high risk individuals by two years or more.

“The results have important implications for people, particularly youth, who have relatives with the disease, as these individuals may be at high risk and benefit from early screening and treatment,” said Lisa Spain, Project Scientist from US National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

The study, involving treatment with an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (teplizumab), was conducted by Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an international collaboration aimed at discovering ways to delay or prevent Type-1 diabetes.

Participants were randomly assigned to either the treatment group, which received a 14-day course of teplizumab, or the control group, which received a placebo.

All participants received glucose tolerance tests regularly until the study was completed, or until they developed clinical Type-1 diabetes – whichever came first.

During the trial, 72 per cent of the people in the control group developed clinical diabetes, compared to only 43 per cent of the teplizumab group.

diabetes
“Although Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in parents are well-established risk factors for diabetes, we show that gestational diabetes mellitus may be a risk indicator for diabetes in the mother’s children before age 22,” . Pixabay

The median time for people in the control group to develop clinical diabetes was just over 24 months, while those who developed clinical diabetes in the treatment group had a median time of 48 months before progressing to diagnosis.

“The difference in outcomes was striking. This discovery is the first evidence we’ve seen that clinical Type-1 diabetes can be delayed with early preventive treatment,” Spain added.

Type-1 diabetes develops when the immune system’s T cells mistakenly destroy the body’s own insulin-producing beta cells.

Also Read- Cutting Sodium Intake May Prevent 94 Million Premature Deaths From CVD

Insulin is needed to convert glucose into energy. Teplizumab targets T cells to lessen the destruction of beta cells.

The effects of the drug were greatest in the first year after it was given, said the study published online in The New England Journal of Medicine. (IANS)