Grant will enable new mouse models of kidney and heart disease complications of diabetes

October 29, 2001

DURHAM, N.C. -- The Mouse Models of Diabetic Complications Consortium group at Duke University Medical Center has received a five-year grant totaling more than $3.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to create new mouse models for diabetic kidney and heart disease.

"Creating these mouse models is vital to finding better treatments for and a better understanding of diabetic kidney and heart disease," said Dr. Thomas Coffman, principal investigator for the project. Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are collaborating with Duke on this project.

"There are currently no small animal or mouse models that precisely mimic human complications of diabetes," Coffman said. "Generating models of these diabetic complications in the mouse would be a powerful tool because of the genetic manipulations that are possible in mice. Having these models will allow us to expand the range of therapeutic interventions that we can test and should eventually lead us to answers about the causes of these complications."

The risk for diabetic complications in humans depends on genetic factors. Using genetic engineering techniques in mice, the expression of genes that may be linked to diabetic kidney and heart disease will be altered. By inducing diabetes in these engineered mouse lines, scientists can study the way the genes impact these disorders and they can study new approaches for preventing or treating these devastating complications. The experimental approach will take advantage of the technique of gene targeting pioneered in the laboratory of Oliver Smithies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the collaborating investigators in the consortium.

Gene targeting involves introducing DNA designed to have specific inactivating mutations into mouse embryonic stem cells in tissue culture. These genetically altered stem cells are then injected into normal mouse tissue, which is introduced into pregnant mice. The "chimeric" mice that result contain both normal and mutated versions of the targeted gene. By breeding such mice, researchers can develop mice with both copies of the gene knocked out and can study what cell processes the gene controls and how drugs and other treatments affect the mice.

Coffman, who is also chief of the nephrology division at Duke and a staff physician at the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center, said that diabetes is a major concern in the fight against kidney disease since nearly half of the patients on dialysis are receiving the treatment because of diabetes-related complications. Once the mouse models are developed, Coffman says the new models will be made available to the scientific community, which will allow scientists to explore new therapeutics and gain a better understanding of diabetic kidney and heart disease.
Note to editors: Dr. Thomas Coffman can be contacted at 919-286-6947 or

Duke University Medical Center

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to