Haptoglobin as an early serum biomarker of virus-induced type 1 diabetes in rats

Oct 26, 2010

Type 1 diabetes (T1D), formerly known as juvenile diabetes, is a multifactorial disease of complex etiology characterized by the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells. In addition to genetic susceptibility, it is generally accepted that environmental factors play important roles in triggering disease, with virus infection having perhaps the strongest association. Multiple viral infections including cytomegalovirus, mumps, rubella, enteroviruses, and parvovirus have all been associated with human T1D. Indeed, the effects of diverse viruses in triggering T1D may explain the heterogeneous nature of disease onset and kinetics in the general population.

The recent availability of novel immunomodulatory therapies that may preserve residual beta cell mass in new onset diabetics has generated a demand for noninvasive testable biomarkers that can identify the development of the autoreactive process before it becomes clinically apparent. In the work published in the November issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, Kruger and coworkers have utilized several well-established rat models of virus-induced T1D to search for biomarkers that occur early in disease development. Annie Kruger, working together with Rita Bortell and other colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, carried out the work. Dr. Kruger, a recent MD/PhD graduate, investigated the viral induction of autoimmune diabetes as part of her PhD thesis.

In a proteomics study of serum from rats treated with diabetogenic virus, the research team utilized 2D gel analysis and and found increased levels of serum haptoglobin very early in the time course of diabetes induction. This result was confirmed by western and ELISA analyses, and sustained elevations of serum haptoglobin were generally predictive of ensuing diabetes. "Intriguingly," Dr. Bortell stated, "mutations in the human haptoglobin gene are associated with increased risk of diabetic complications such as retinopathy, nephropathy and cardiovascular disease. In our rat studies, however, haptoglobin was identified very early following , well prior to the development of diabetes or its complications, and thus may represent a biomarker for the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes as well."

To the researchers' knowledge, this is the first study that investigates T1D serum biomarkers found specifically in response to virus infection. Dr. Bortell said "As virus infections have historically been associated with the development of T1D in children, these rat models have particular relevance to the human disease. Reliably identifying children in the earliest phases of diabetes (pre-diabetes) would provide clinicians with a window of opportunity when pharmacotherapy could be most effective in slowing or halting the disease."

Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of , said "Kruger et al have identified haptoglobin as an early serum biomarker predictive of virus-induced T1D utilizing well-known rat models. This discovery, in conjunction with established markers of , should prove useful in identifying those children at risk for T1D."

Explore further: Obama addresses West Africans on facts about Ebola

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Key genetic players in diabetes identified

Sep 17, 2010

Scientists have discovered a network of genes for type 1 diabetes (T1D) and identified a key player that controls the network. This development will help researchers focus their efforts to improve drug treatments ...

'Nanovaccine' reverses type 1 diabetes in mice

Apr 08, 2010

A new study, published online April 8 by Cell Press in the journal Immunity, describes a unique therapeutic "nanovaccine" that successfully reverses diabetes in a mouse model of the disease. In addition to providing new in ...

New scientific knowledge on juvenile diabetes

Dec 17, 2008

Finnish scientists have reported a breakthrough in the attempts to understand the development of type 1 diabetes. They discovered disturbances in lipid and amino acid metabolism in children who later progressed to type 1 ...

Recommended for you

Obama addresses West Africans on facts about Ebola

7 hours ago

President Barack Obama urged West Africans on Tuesday to wear gloves and masks when caring for Ebola patients or burying anyone who died of the disease. He also discouraged the traditional burial practice ...

Gluten-free diet benefits asymptomatic EmA+ adults

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Asymptomatic individuals with endomysial antibodies (EmA) benefit from a gluten-free diet (GFD), according to a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

Another US health worker infected with Ebola

7 hours ago

A third American health worker has tested positive for the Ebola virus while working with patients in West Africa, the Christian missionary group SIM said Tuesday.

UN implores all countries to help on Ebola

9 hours ago

The international group Doctor Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is 'losing the battle' against Ebola, while U.N. officials implored all countries to quickly step up their response by contributing health experts ...

Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts

14 hours ago

Travel restrictions could worsen West Africa's Ebola epidemic, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors, virologists said Tuesday as the disease continued its deadly spread.

User comments : 0