Galectin-1 linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes: Study

Galectin-1 linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes: Study

Washington [US]November 8 (ANI): According to a new study, elevated levels of the protein galectin-1 are associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes about 18 years later.

The results of the study were published in the journal ‘Diabetologia’.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg and Lund University found that elevated levels of the protein galectin-1 are linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes about 18 years later. At the same time, this protein appears to be a protective factor for the kidneys among type 2 diabetic patients at high risk for diabetic nephropathy.

The researchers pointed to both negative and positive links between the protein galectin-1 and type 2 diabetes. In a general population, galectin-1 may be associated with an increased risk of diabetes, but in patients with a subtype of diabetes that increases the risk of kidney damage, galectin-1 appeared to be beneficial, as patients with high levels of galectin-1 in the blood have less kidney damage.

“This is probably not as strange as it may sound. My own personal theory is that the effects of galectin-1 found in the kidney are linked to inflammatory processes, while the effects of galectin-1 in adipose tissue are largely linked to metabolic Thus, we can expect to see different mechanisms at work and different results for the same protein, “says Emanuel Fryk, one of the study’s lead authors.

Fryk is a permanent doctor of general medicine and a doctoral student at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

Galectin-1, a protein expressed by fat cells as well as other cells, is involved in both the regulation of inflammation and the function of fat cells in the body. Five years ago, the research group at the University of Gothenburg presented results from a study of individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and healthy controls.

They suggested that the protein could be involved in pathophysiological mechanisms of adipose tissue in the development of type 2 diabetes. Later, the team also showed that the protein was linked to higher insulin levels in the blood of a thousand participants in a study called the Swedish CardioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS).

The protein was associated with increased insulin levels after adjusting the assay for known risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as obesity, age and sex.

In the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study, researchers have now been able to confirm that galectin-1 plays a significant role in the development of disease in type 2 diabetes. In this large population study, the participants are also followed over time.

The study includes analyzes of blood samples from more than 4,000 participants, collected between 1991 and 1994. Galectin-1 levels in blood samples were analyzed to assess the association with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, approximately 18 years after the initial test. collected. The authors do not suggest that galectin-1 should be a new tool in primary care to predict who will develop diabetes, but this is a step forward in better understanding the disease.

“This is an important piece of the puzzle in the field of research on why obesity is such a major risk factor for the disease. It is a new clue for researchers trying to find out exactly what happens in the body of individuals with obesity who later develop type 2 diabetes.” Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease, where many factors contribute to the development of the disease. One of the most serious complications is chronic kidney disease, which about half of those with type 2 diabetes develop.

Organ damage is permanent and can lead to premature death. For this reason, researchers also looked more closely at those affected by kidney disease and found links to galectin-1 in this context as well.

By combining genetic analyzes and measurements of galectin-1, they were able to investigate the genetic link between galectin-1 and the development of diabetes and kidney disease in another Scanian-based study, but only including individuals with diabetes: the study All New Diabetics in Scania (ANDIS) . The ANDIS study has previously suggested that diabetes can be divided into five subgroups, where one group is at significantly higher risk of diabetic kidney disease. The subgroup, labeled SIRD (severe insulin-resistant diabetes), is characterized by obesity and severe insulin resistance.

Based on analysis from the ANDIS study, researchers now show that elevated levels of galectin-1 can provide protection against kidney damage for this patient group.

“In two large population-based cohorts in southern Sweden, we demonstrate that galectin-1 is linked to renal function and has potentially prophylactic effects against renal failure in some patients with type 2 diabetes. This puts a new candidate on the table who should be studied as a potential target. in the development of future drugs, “the authors said. (ANI)






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