September 2010 eUpdate
September 7, 2010
Gestational Diabetes Discovery Key to Beta Cell Growth and Regeneration Efforts
In Nature Medicine last June, the Justine K. Schreyer Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research, Michael German, MD, reported that he and his team have solved an age-old question in diabetes, “How does the onset of pregnancy enable a woman to double the number of islets in her pancreas?”
His team’s answer to this question is serotonin, a hormone produced from the amino acid tryptophan, found in high-protein foods. When two pregnancy hormones, prolactin and placental lactogen, trigger the gene for tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (Tph1), the enzyme for making serotonin, the amount of serotonin in the beta cells increases 1,000-fold. As the beta cells release this newly manufactured serotonin, it binds to serotonin receptors (Htr2b) on the surface of the beta cells and stimulates beta cell proliferation. After birth, the process is reversed when an inhibitory serotonin receptor (Htr1d) is activated on the beta cells, stopping beta cell proliferation and reducing the number of beta cells to normal pre-pregnancy levels. This exciting research suggests that gestational diabetes may occur if a pregnant woman is not ingesting enough protein early in her pregnancy, or is on psychiatric (mood, depression, appetite) medications that may affect serotonin production. Simple dietary solutions and/or new drugs may prove useful in treating this ever-increasing condition of pregnancy.
Of great interest to all of you is how Dr. German’s discovery may lead to new ways to promote beta cell regeneration in patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Through this groundbreaking work, Dr. German hopes to identify targets in these genes and signaling pathways for new drugs that will drive the replication of beta cells in those living with either disease. [ UCSF News Office ]
Diabetes Center Receives CIRM Funds for Immune Tolerance Research
Even though the Diabetes Center has already received significant funding from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for our stem cell research, it was exciting that our expertise in immune tolerance research was recognized and supported through two awards approved by CIRM’s Governing Board on June 22nd.
Mark Anderson, MD, PhD, the Robert B. Friend and Michelle M. Friend Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research, received just over $1.3 million to study stem cell differentiation to thymic epithelium for inducing tolerance to stem cells. In addition, Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, UCSF Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and the AW and Mary Clausen Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, received almost $1.2 million to study stem cell tolerance through the use of engineered antigen-specific regulatory T cells.
The CIRM Governing Board chose to invest in immune tolerance research efforts to help overcome the potential of stem cell transplantation rejection. As CIRM funded researchers become successful in transplanting cells derived from stem cells, it is important that these cells are protected and not rejected by the immune system.
Center Director Matthias Hebrok, PhD, the Hurlbut-Johnson Distinguished Professor in Diabetes Research , is serving as Co-Principal Investigator for both funded research grants, an example of how Diabetes Center stem cell researchers interact and collaborate with Diabetes Center immunologists to attack the disease from multiple fronts. [ CIRM Press Release ]
DIABETES CENTER NEWS
Diabetes Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary
For nearly eighty years, UCSF researchers and clinicians have been making breakthrough discoveries that have improved diabetes treatment and care for individuals with diabetes and their families.
Ten years ago, a new, comprehensive Diabetes Center was created that united the research, clinical care and education aspects of diabetes to more rapidly improve the quality of life of those living with diabetes. In these past ten years, we’ve accelerated our basic research efforts and have aggressively pursued promising clinical research to help generate new treatments for this disease.
To recognize our worldwide partnership of researchers, clinicians, collaborators, supporters, and donors, we are holding our 10th Anniversary Celebration on September 24 and 25, 2010 on our Parnassus Campus in San Francisco. www.diabetes.ucsf.edu/celebration
FOR CLINICIANS AND RESEARCHERS: 10th Anniversary Scientific Symposium
For clinicians and researchers, we invite you to attend our 10th Anniversary Scientific Symposium on Friday, September 24 at Cole Hall, UCSF Medical School, 513 Parnassus, San Francisco.
We are honored that ten outstanding diabetes medical professionals and researchers from UCSF, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Columbia University School of Medicine, and the San Raffaele Hospital and Scientific Institute, Milan Italy will be making presentations at this day-long symposium, moderated by Center Director Matthias Hebrok, PhD. Topics include: Immunology and Type 1 Diabetes; Stem Cells and Regeneration; Obesity and Metabolism; and Clinical Research in Diabetes . Also scheduled to speak are UCSF Chancellor, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, and Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost, Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD.
A tentative agenda and complete list of speakers may be found at these links:
All attendees who RSVP in advance of the program will receive a continental breakfast, box lunch, and refreshments.
PLEASE RVSP by Tuesday, September 21st. (Space is limited so early registration is strongly suggested.)
FOR PEDIATRIC PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES: 10th Anniversary Family Fun Day & Carnival
For pediatric families, we invite you to attend our Pediatric Diabetes Family Fun Day & Educational Program on Saturday, September 25th, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Saunders Court on the UCSF Parnassus Campus.
To RSVP, email Kathleen Fraser.
10TH ANNIVERSARY CORPORATE SUPPORTERS
Thanks to these companies, we are offering our anniversary programs free of charge.
Please help us thank these companies for their commitment to diabetes. We appreciate their support.
The Diabetes Center at UCSF is among the premier institutions for clinical trials of emerging therapies in diabetes. Numerous clinical trials in type 1 and 2 diabetes are now underway.
Interested in participating? A sample of our trials currently enrolling patients:
Type 1 Diabetes: TrialNet Natural History Study [Antibody Screening] Seeking relatives of people with type 1 diabetes, 1 to 45 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: An Oral Insulin Preventative Study Seeking relatives of people with type 1 diabetes, 3 to 45 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Islet Transplantation Seeking volunteers 18 - 65 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Efficacy of Islet After Kidney Transplantation Seeking volunteers 18-65 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Peritransplant Deoxyspergualin in Islet Transplantation Seeking volunteers 18-65 years of age
Type 2 Diabetes: Paleolithic-Type Diets and Metabolic Control Seeking volunteers 18 years of age and older with type 2 diabetes
Bone Study for Postmenopausal Women With or Without Type 2 Diabetes Seeking volunteers between 50 and 75 years old
APS1 and Autoimmune Disease Seeking volunteers at least 6 years old and weighing over 40 pounds who have either autoimmune disease, have evidence of autoimmunity, have a family member with autoimmunity, or do not have autoimmune disease (healthy volunteer control)
Diabetes Center at UCSF
If you wish to receive more information about the UCSF Diabetes Center’s clinical and research programs, or would like to financially support one or more of these efforts, please contact Suzanne Ritchie at 415-476-6334. You may also visit our donation website and designate your gift to “The Diabetes Center."
eUpdate is published at regular intervals by the Diabetes Center at UCSF. We encourage you to send this newsletter to others. If you no longer wish to receive eUpdate, you may unsubscribe at any time by sending an email to eUpdate@diabetes.ucsf.edu with the word “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject line.
Questions? Comments? We welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org