Today’s Diabetes Digest

A step closer to a cure for adult-onset diabetes

BY MEDICAL XPRESS: In healthy people, exosomes – tiny structures secreted by cells to allow intercellular communication – prevent clumping of the protein that leads to type 2 diabetes. Exosomes in patients with the disease don’t have the same ability. This discovery by a research collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology and Astrazeneca takes us a step closer to a cure for type 2 diabetes.

Proteins are the body’s workhorses, carrying out all the tasks in our cells. A protein is a long chain of amino acids that must be folded into a specific three-dimensional structure to work. Sometimes, however, they behave incorrectly and aggregate – clump together – into long fibres called amyloids, which can cause diseases. It was previously known that type 2 diabetes is caused by a protein aggregating in the pancreas. (read more)


New target emerging for treating diabetes-related blood vessel damage

BY MEDICAL XPRESS: A key enzyme that helps our proteins fold and function properly may also be a good therapeutic target to improve blood vessel health in diseases like diabetes and atherosclerosis, scientists say.

The enzyme is protein disulfide isomerase, or PDI, and scientists have increasing evidence that PDI is essential to the healthy remodeling of the endothelial cells that line our blood vessels and to the production of new blood vessels when we need them. This natural process is called angiogenesis, and it is impaired in diabetes.

“If we know the key mediator causing this, maybe we can target the molecule and treat the problem,” says Dr. Masuko Ushio-Fukai, vascular biologist in the Vascular Biology Center at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. (read more)

Can you teach a cell new tricks? Diabetes research aims to do just that.

BY JENNI LAIDMAN: Domenico Accili confesses it all sounds a little like science fiction, or maybe simply magic, but the professor of medicine at Columbia University is convinced he can coax endocrine cells in the gut to change jobs and, in the process, reverse Type 1 diabetes.

If it works — and it’s too early to say that it will — that would be a game-changer for the chronic condition.

“Existing treatments fiddle with the disease, make it more palatable, more acceptable, and reduce complications,” Accili said. “But they do not cure the disease.”(read more)


Does diabetes make a heart attack feel different?

BY LISA RAPAPORT: People with diabetes may not always feel classic symptoms like acute chest pain when they have a heart attack, according to a small study that offers a potential explanation for why these episodes are more deadly for diabetics.

Researchers examined data from detailed interviews with 39 adults in the UK who had been diagnosed with diabetes and had also experienced a heart attack. Most of the participants reported feeling some chest pain, but they often said it didn’t feel like they expected or that they didn’t think it was really a heart attack. (read more)

AstraZeneca’s new diabetes drug formulation gets FDA approval

BY CARLO MARTUSCELLI: AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.LN) has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new formulation of its type-2 diabetes treatment option Bydureon, it said Monday.

The pharmaceutical company said that the regulator has given the green light to its Bydureon BCise injectable suspension drug–a single-dose autoinjector device that is used once a week. The new formulation reduces blood sugar levels and has the added benefit of weight loss, the company said. (read more)