MCG selected as RNA laboratory for worldwide diabetes study

December 17, 2007

The Medical College of Georgia Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine has been selected to isolate RNA and DNA from the blood of thousands of children involved in a worldwide study of the causes of type 1 diabetes.

MCG also is enrolling children in the mammoth study that will eventually follow 8,000 at-risk babies from four states and three countries for 15 years, collecting blood every three months as they go.

The TEDDY - The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young - study is keeping tabs on many aspects of the children's lives - from emergency room visits to over-the-counter medicines - in an effort to identify environmental triggers for diabetes in children with known high-risk genes.

"Once you know the risk factors, you can modulate the risk factors to prevent diabetes," says Dr. Jin-Xiong She, center director and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Genomic Medicine.

Dr. She was among the scientists who conceived the idea of TEDDY and successfully applied for National Institutes of Health funding to pursue it in 2003.

He recently was named principal investigator on the additional five-year, $5 million contract to isolate RNA and DNA from the regularly collected blood.

About 20,000 samples already are awaiting the process. The MCG Center developed a robotic automation that processes 96 samples in about two hours - compared to the standard of a few samples in about six hours - to handle the huge and growing volume.

Gene expression over time is a new area of research, says Dr. She. The newly established infrastructure enables MCG to isolate nucleic acids for similar large-scale studies.

Isolated nucleic acids will be stored at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Repository. TEDDY scientists will eventually analyze the impact of environmental triggers on the body's basic building blocks with an eye toward identifying biomarkers that give an early heads up that the body is headed toward diabetes.

"These two different types of genetic material contain different information," Dr. She explains. "The basic information of DNA does not change. What changes in DNA is how it may or may not allow expression of genes. RNA changes all the time."

"Think about when you get the flu and your body starts to increase the number of immune cells to fight it," says Dr. Richard A. McIndoe, associate center director and co-principal investigator. "That requires an expansion of your cells, which requires an expansion of proteins, which requires an expansion of RNA. Infection is an environmental trigger. Your RNA changed because you had an infection."

"When you are getting diabetes, your RNA expression also changes," says Dr. She. Changes may or may not be permanent, but the goal is to connect the pieces and see which changes amount to type 1 diabetes, he says.

MCG's TEDDY Clinical Center is screening newborns in nine hospitals, including MCG Medical Center, University Hospital, Trinity Hospital of Augusta; Northside, Piedmont and Kennestone Hospitals in Atlanta; and three hospitals in Gainesville, Fla. Additional centers include Barbara Davis Center at the University of Colorado; Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle; the University of Turku in Finland; Lund University in Sweden; and the Diabetes Research Institute in Munich, Germany. The University of South Florida in Tampa serves as the TEDDY data coordinating center and MCG's new contract with the NIDDK for nucleic acid isolation is through that university.

To date, MCG's center has enrolled about 500 children. An additional 800 to 1,000 enrollees in the next two-and-one-half years are planned.
-end-


Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

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
Brightsurf.com 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 Amazon.com.