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Loss of function of a single gene linked to diabetes in mice
Date:1/3/2014

ng beta cells. All such mice had elevated blood glucose levels, which the researchers found was due to insufficient release of insulin.

"We didn't see any insulin resistance in their cells, but it was clear that the beta cells were not functioning properly," Prabhakar said. Examination of the beta cells revealed that they were packed with insulin. "The cells were producing plenty of insulin, they just weren't secreting it," he said.

The finding shows that type 2 diabetes can be directly caused by the loss of a properly functioning MADD gene alone, Prabhakar said. "Without the gene, insulin can't leave the beta cells, and blood glucose levels are chronically high."

Prabhakar now hopes to investigate the effect of a drug that allows for the secretion of insulin in MADD-deficient beta cells.

"If this drug works to reverse the deficits associated with a defective MADD gene in the beta cells of our model mice, it may have potential for treating people with this mutation who have an insulin-secretion defect and/or type 2 diabetes," he said.


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Contact: Sharon Parmet
sparmet@uic.edu
312-413-2695
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert  

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