Nav: Home

Metabolism: Beta cells under fire

June 07, 2017

While type 1 diabetes causes the destruction of the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas and the development of an absolute insulin deficiency, type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction. Before now, researchers knew very little about the concrete pathophysiological processes in the islets of Langerhans during the development of type 2 diabetes. This is primarily because their location in the pancreas means that the islets of Langerhans are not easily accessible.

Examination of islets of Langerhans in their natural environment

"Our approach was to examine islets of Langerhans in their natural environment in the pancreas, which means without the isolation process and without the artifacts that possibly accompany it," explains Dr. Michaela Aichler. She is deputy head of the Analytical Pathology Research Unit (AAP) at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. She used high-resolution mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI imaging) for her experiments. The technology makes it possible to examine the distribution of metabolic products (cell metabolites) and proteins directly in tissue sections.

Fatty acids influence insulin synthesis and secretion

"A disrupted balance in the insulin synthesis and insulin release was seen in the mouse model*," adds Prof. Dr. Axel Karl Walch, AAP head. "This new, previously unknown mechanism leads to beta cell dysfunction as type 2 diabetes progresses."

Fatty acid esters already begin to accumulate at an early stage of type 2 diabetes and prevent insulin synthesis. At the same time, there is also an accumulation of other fatty acids that promote the release of insulin. The beta cells consequently no longer have sufficient insulin and their function can no longer be maintained.

The data were translated into functional networks and metabolic pathways with a special statistical method**. Investigations in cell culture experiments*** led to a functional understanding of the changes. Additional experiments with human islets of Langerhans**** were able to confirm the relevance of the newly discovered mechanism for human medicine.
-end-
Further information

Original publicatiomn: Aichler M et al. N-acyl Taurines and Acylcarnitines Cause an Imbalance in Insulin Synthesis and Secretion Provoking ß-Cell Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes, Cell Metabolism, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2017.04.012, Link: http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(17)30217-6

More about MALDI Imaging at the Helmholtz Zentrum München: https://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/aap

*Collaboration partner: Institute of Experimental Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München

**Collaboration partner: Institute of Computational Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum München

***Collaboration partner: Institute for Diabetes and Obesity, Helmholtz Zentrum München

****Collaboration partner: University of Alberta

Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health

Related Diabetes Articles:

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Older Americans with diabetes living longer without disability, US study shows
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
Reverse your diabetes -- and you can stay diabetes-free long-term
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
New cause of diabetes
Although insulin-producing cells are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas, a new mouse study suggests that abnormalities in the exocrine tissue could cause cell non-autonomous effects that promotes diabetes-like symptoms.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Reducing sugar content in sugar-sweetened drinks by 40 percent over 5 years could prevent 1.5 million cases of overweight and obesity in the UK and 300,000 cases of diabetes
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.
Breastfeeding lowers risk of type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Related Diabetes Reading:

The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes
by Joel Fuhrman (Author)

The New York Times bestselling author of Eat to Live and Super Immunity and one of the country’s leading experts on preventive medicine offers a scientifically proven, practical program to prevent and reverse diabetes—without drugs.

At last, a breakthrough program to combat the rising diabetes epidemic and help millions of diabetics, as well as those suffering with high blood pressure and heart disease. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Research director of the Nutritional Research Foundation, shows you how to live a long, healthy, and happy life—disease free. He... View Details


Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me
by Adam Brown (Author), Kelly L. Close (Foreword)

Adam Brown’s acclaimed diaTribe column, Adam’s Corner, has brought life-transforming diabetes tips to over 600,000 people since 2013. In this highly actionable guide, he shares the food, mindset, exercise, and sleep strategies that have had the biggest positive impact on his diabetes – and hopefully yours too! Bright Spots & Landmines is filled with hundreds of effective diabetes tips, questions, and shortcuts, including what to eat to minimize blood sugar swings; helpful strategies to feel less stressed, guilty, and burned out; and simple ways to improve exercise and... View Details


What Do I Eat Now?: A Step-by-Step Guide to Eating Right with Type 2 Diabetes
by Patti B. Geil R.D. (Author), Tami A. Ross R.D. (Author)

Any person diagnosed with diabetes has one simple question: What do I eat now? When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, doctors typically tell their patients to start eating healthy. But what does that mean? If figuring out what to eat seems like taking a test, here’s the solution, the American Diabetes Association book, What Do I Eat Now?. Written in clear, concise, and down-to-earth language that takes the mystery out of confusing nutrition recommendations, this indispensable guide can help readers make lasting changes in as little as a month. In only 4 weeks, readers can eat... View Details


Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs
by Neal Barnard M.D. (Author)

Until Dr. Barnard’s scientific breakthrough, most health professionals believed that once you developed diabetes, you were stuck with it—and could anticipate one complication after another, from worsening eyesight and nerve symptoms to heart and kidney problems. But as this groundbreaking work reveals, this simply is not true. In a series of studies—the most recent funded by the National Institutes of Health—Dr. Barnard has shown that it is possible to repair insulin function and reverse type 2 diabetes. By following his scientifically proven, life-changing program, diabetics can... View Details


Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars
by Richard K. Bernstein (Author)

Originally published in 1997, DR. BERNSTEIN'S DIABETES SOLUTION is a unique resource that covers both adult- and childhood-onset diabetes, explains step-by-step how to normalize blood sugar levels and prevent or reverse complications, and offers detailed guidelines for establishing a treatment plan. Readers will find fifty gourmet recipes, in addition to a comprehensive discussion of diet, obesity, and new drugs to curb carbohydrate craving and overeating.

Now in its fourth edition, the book presents up-to-the-minute information on insulin resistance, blood-testing devices, measuring... View Details


The Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Food Choices
by American Diabetes Association ADA (Author)

Completely updated to match the newest edition of Choose Your Foods: Food Lists for Diabetes Meal Planning, this pocket-sized guide is now better and more complete than ever.

Every day and at every meal, millions of people use the food list system to plan meals, make healthier choices, and better estimate portions. This proven system is the most popular approach to diabetes meal planning and has been used by dietitians, diabetes educators, and millions of people with diabetes for more than 70 years. This portable version of the Food Lists takes all of the information from... View Details


Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book
by Mayo Clinic (Author)

More people than ever before have diabetes. The disease affects an estimated 21 million adults and children in the US and many people with the disease don't have it under control. Unlike years ago, you have a good chance of living an active and healthy life with diabetes - provided you work with your health-care team to take the necessary steps to control your blood sugar. This title covers: the pre-diabetes stage - taking charge to prevent diabetes; types of diabetes; symptoms and risk factors; treatments and strategies for managing your blood sugar; avoiding serious complications; advances... View Details


Diabetes For Dummies
by Alan L. Rubin (Author)

The straight facts on treating diabetes successfully

With diabetes now considered pandemic throughout the world, there have been enormous advances in the field. Now significantly revised and updated, this new edition of Diabetes For Dummies includes the latest information on diabetes medications and monitoring equipment, new findings about treating diabetes in the young and elderly, new ways to diagnose and treat long- and short-term complications, updated nutritional guidelines, new tools for measuring blood sugar and delivering insulin to the body, and much more.

There's... View Details


Choose Your Foods: Food Lists for Diabetes
by American Diabetes Association (Author)

The standard for diabetes meal planning for over 60 years, this edition features updated carbohydrate, protein, and fat information for a wide variety of foods and beverages and replaces exchange terminology with choices. Includes tips on exercise, reading food labels, and a glossary of diabetes related terms. View Details


The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed (The Complete First Year)
by Gretchen Becker (Author), Allison B. Goldfine (Author)

The go-to step-by-step guide that walks you through the first days, weeks, and months of your diagnosis–fully revised and updated

Gretchen Becker was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1996; over the past twenty years, she has educated herself on every aspect of the condition by reading medical texts and journals, talking with doctors, and corresponding with others who have type 2, sharing everything she's learned in a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide. Now in its third edition, The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes takes you through everything you need to learn and do in your... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Simple Solutions
Sometimes, the best solutions to complex problems are simple. But simple doesn't always mean easy. This hour, TED speakers describe the innovation and hard work that goes into achieving simplicity. Guests include designer Mileha Soneji, chef Sam Kass, sleep researcher Wendy Troxel, public health advocate Myriam Sidibe, and engineer Amos Winter.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#448 Pavlov (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We'll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, discussing his book "Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science."