Tuesday, December 20, 2011

heparan sulfate by Simeonovic at The Australian National University

Scientists suggest that either boosting pancreatic islet levels of heparan sulfate (HS) or administering an inhibitor of the heparanase enzyme that is responsible for its breakdown could provide a new approach to preventing development or slowing progression of type 1 diabetes. A team at The Australian National University’s John Curtin School of Medical Research initially showed that HS is expressed at very high levels in the mouse islet and is essential for β-cell survival.

Charmaine J. Simeonovic, M.D., and colleagues, report their findings in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, in a paper titled “Heparan sulfate and heparanase play key roles in mouse β cell survival and autoimmune diabetes.”

Critically, treating prediabetic female MOD mice using PI-88, at an age when they were expected to exhibit both NDI and DI, significantly slowed the development of T1D by 10 weeks. By age 36 weeks, the number of diabetic mice among the PI-88 cohort was just half that of the control group.

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