According to a study published in Nature, researchers have developed a drug that not only can prevent type 2 diabetes, but can also reduce the progression of this disease. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, scientists from CSL’s research laboratories in Melbourne and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Dr Andrew Nash, Senior Vice President of Research at CSL, said the results of this study represent a new hope for millions of people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases of the modern world. It is important to know that type 2 diabetes is associated with metabolic syndrome, ie with obesity and hypertension. Type 2 diabetes can also be a lifestyle consequence . Diabetes mellitus is characterized by elevated blood glucose. In other words the resulting glucose can not enter cells and used as energy source, instead it remains in the blood stream. The passage of glucose into cells is facilitated by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Hyperglycemia has many health consequences which over time can lead to complications such as blindness or kidney problems (diabetic nephropathy). The most common symptoms of diabetes are polyuria, polyphagia and polydipsia. Just like obesity, diabetes that does not hurt making it very dangerous and discovered incidentally.
If in type 1 diabetes the problem consists of insufficient or nonexistent insulin, in type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance is the problem. Glucose can not enter cells with the help of insulin due to the fat deposits which are found around the cells (insulin resistance). Researchers have managed to create a drug that prevents the formation of fat deposits around the heart and muscle cells. When administered to mice with type 2 diabetes (as a consequence of a fat-rich diet) cells within these tissues were once again sensible to insulin and blood glucose reversed to normal values.
“The results seen in these laboratory studies are very promising for the millions of people around the world who are affected by type 2 diabetes,” said Dr Andrew Nash, Senior Vice President of Research at CSL.
Dr Andrew Nash, Senior Vice President of Research at CSL, pointed out that insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes is caused by the presence of fat deposits in places like the heart or muscles. What the researchers also found was that VEGF-B protein is involved in the transport and formation of fat deposits in the body. They created a drug that acts by blocking VEGF signaling, called 2H10.
“We are very hopeful that the antibody-based drug that we have developed and tested together with Professor Eriksson will ultimately lead to a new treatment option for people with diabetes.”
Moreover, in order to test the efficacy OF 2H10 researchers have made several experiments on laboratory animals. In rats fed a fat rich diets the drug prevented both insulin resistance and diabetes. Researchers now wish to expand their research and test the drug on people with type 2 diabetes or at high risk of developing this disease.
Study Abstract Here.