Step forward in type II diabetes

In summary, the article discusses the potential of targeting epigenetic maintenance to address beta cell dysfunction, dedifferentiation, and diabetes. The study explores the role of the Polycomb-dependent epigenome in controlling these processes and suggests that stabilizing loss of functioning beta cells and possibly reversing changed ones could be a feasible treatment for diabetes. However, there are some inconsistencies with current understanding of the pathophysiology of type II diabetes.
  • #1

jim mcnamara

Targeting epigenetic maintenance of beta cell identity should be actively explored -

Tess Tsai-Hsiu Lu et al. The Polycomb-Dependent Epigenome Controls β Cell Dysfunction, Dedifferentiation, and Diabetes, Cell Metabolism (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.04.013

Diabetes in this context is defined as an epigenetic disorder, where the insulin secreting beta cells in pancreatic islets 'lose their identity' over time. This is due to epigenetic changes to DNA in the beta cells.

The article indicates that it should be medically feasible to stablize loss of functioning beta cells and possibly reverse changed ones. Medical Express article indicates this kind of treatment now is employed in treating some cancers.
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  • #2
I suspect this might be more of a step sideways. Epigenetic's basically describes a number of processes involved in the control of gene expression and there are few if any physiological processes that can't be reduced to elements of gene expression. The problem with this paper is that it seems to be inconsistent with what is known about the pathophysiology of type II diabetes, in fact impairment of beta cell function occurs late in the process it is not a cause as such. There is a good review at;

1. What is a "step forward" in type II diabetes research?

A "step forward" in type II diabetes research refers to a significant advancement or breakthrough in understanding, treating, or preventing the disease. This could include new medications, diagnostic tools, lifestyle interventions, or other discoveries that improve our knowledge and management of type II diabetes.

2. What recent developments have been made in the treatment of type II diabetes?

Recent developments in the treatment of type II diabetes include the development of new medications such as SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists, as well as the use of continuous glucose monitoring devices and the implementation of lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise programs.

3. How does type II diabetes differ from type I diabetes?

Type II diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels, while type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type II diabetes is also more commonly diagnosed in adults and is often associated with obesity and lifestyle factors, while type I diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and is not related to lifestyle choices.

4. Can type II diabetes be prevented?

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent type II diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of developing the disease. Additionally, managing other risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels can also help prevent or delay the onset of type II diabetes.

5. What are the potential complications of type II diabetes?

If left untreated or poorly managed, type II diabetes can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, and vision loss. It is important for individuals with type II diabetes to work closely with their healthcare team to manage their condition and prevent these potential complications.

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