Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are pluripotent stromal cells that have the potential to give rise to cells of diverse lineages. Interestingly, MSCs can be found in virtually all postnatal tissues. The main criteria currently used to characterize and identify these cells are the capacity for self-renewal and differentiation into tissues of mesodermal origin, combined with a lack in expression of certain hematopoietic molecules. Because of their developmental plasticity, the notion of MSC-based therapeutic intervention has become an emerging strategy for the replacement of injured tissues. MSCs have also been noted to possess the ability to impart profound immunomodulatory effects in vivo. Indeed, some of the initial observations regarding MSC protection from tissue injury once thought mediated by tissue regeneration may, in reality, result from immunomodulation. Whereas the exact mechanisms underlying the immunomodulatory functions of MSC remain largely unknown, these cells have been exploited in a variety of clinical trials aimed at reducing the burden of immune-mediated disease. This article focuses on recent advances that have broadened our understanding of the immunomodulatory properties of MSC and provides insight as to their potential for clinical use as a cell-based therapy for immune-mediated disorders and...
It is often stated that type 1 diabetes results from a complex interplay between varying degrees of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. While agreeing with this principal, our desire is that this Perspectives article will highlight another complex interplay potentially associated with this disease involving facets related to the gut, one where individual factors that, upon their interaction with each another, form a “perfect storm” critical to the development of type 1 diabetes. This trio of factors includes an aberrant intestinal microbiota, a “leaky” intestinal mucosal barrier, and altered intestinal immune responsiveness. Studies examining the microecology of the gastrointestinal tract have identified specific microorganisms whose presence appears related (either quantitatively or qualitatively) to disease; in type 1 diabetes, a role for microflora in the pathogenesis of disease has recently been suggested. Increased intestinal permeability has also been observed in animal models of type 1 diabetes as well as in humans with or at increased-risk for the disease. Finally, an altered mucosal immune system has been associated with the disease and is likely a major contributor to the failure to form tolerance, resulting in the autoimmunity that underlies type 1 diabetes. Herein...
OBJECTIVE— β-Cell regeneration is a fundamental but elusive goal for type 1 diabetes research. Our objective is to review newer human and animal studies of β-cell destruction and regeneration and consider the implications for treatment of type 1 diabetes.
The growing availability of continuous data from medical devices in diabetes management makes it crucial to define novel information technology architectures for efficient data storage, data transmission, and data visualization. The new paradigm of care demands the sharing of information in interoperable systems as the only way to support patient care in a continuum of care scenario. The technological platforms should support all the services required by the actors involved in the care process, located in different scenarios and managing diverse information for different purposes. This article presents basic criteria for defining flexible and adaptive architectures that are capable of interoperating with external systems, and integrating medical devices and decision support tools to extract all the relevant knowledge to support diabetes care.
Data mining is the process of selecting, exploring, and modeling large amounts of data to discover unknown patterns or relationships useful to the data analyst. This article describes applications of data mining for the analysis of blood glucose and diabetes mellitus data. The diabetes management context is particularly well suited to a data mining approach. The availability of electronic health records and monitoring facilities, including telemedicine programs, is leading to accumulating huge data sets that are accessible to physicians, practitioners, and health care decision makers. Moreover, because diabetes is a lifelong disease, even data available for an individual patient may be massive and difficult to interpret. Finally, the capability of interpreting blood glucose readings is important not only in diabetes monitoring but also when monitoring patients in intensive care units. This article describes and illustrates work that has been carried out in our institutions in two areas in which data mining has a significant potential utility to researchers and clinical practitioners: analysis of (i) blood glucose home monitoring data of diabetes mellitus patients and (ii) blood glucose monitoring data from hospitalized intensive care unit patients.
Recent studies with human embryonic stem (hES) cells have established new protocols for substantial generation of pancreatic progenitors from definitive endoderm. These findings add to the efficient derivation of definitive endoderm, which is controlled by Wnt and Nodal pathways, and delineate a step forward in the quest for alternative β-cell sources. It also indicates that critical refining of the available strategies might help define a universal protocol for pancreatic differentiation applicable to several cell lines, therefore offering the possibility for transplantation of immune-matched or patient-specific hES–derived β-cells. We appraise here the fundamental role that bone morphogenetic protein, fibroblast growth factor, and retinoid signaling play during pancreas development, and describe a fundamental emergence of their combination in recent studies that generated pancreatic cells from hES cells. We finally enumerate some prospects that might improve further differentiation of the progenitor cells into functional β-cells needed in diabetes cell therapy.
Type 1 diabetes presents clinically with overt hyperglycemia resulting from progressive immune-mediated destruction of pancreatic β-cells and associated metabolic dysfunction. Combined genetic and immunological studies now highlight deficiencies in both the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor and its downstream signaling pathway as a central defect in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. Prior intervention studies in animal models indicate that augmenting IL-2 signaling can prevent and reverse disease, with protection conferred primarily by restoration of regulatory T-cell (Treg) function. In this article, we will focus on studies of type 1 diabetes noting deficient IL-2 signaling and build what we believe forms the molecular framework for their contribution to the disease. This activity results in the identification of a series of potentially novel therapeutic targets that could restore proper immune regulation in type 1 diabetes by augmenting the IL-2 pathway.
Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibition is a novel and promising treatment for diabetes under late-stage clinical development. It generally is accepted that SGLT2 mediates 90% of renal glucose reabsorption. However, SGLT2 inhibitors in clinical development inhibit only 30–50% of the filtered glucose load. Why are they unable to inhibit 90% of glucose reabsorption in humans? We will try to provide an explanation to this puzzle in this perspective analysis of the unique pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of SGLT2 inhibitors in clinical trials and examine possible mechanisms and molecular properties that may be responsible.
The islet in type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is characterized by a deficit in β-cells, increased β-cell apoptosis, and extracellular amyloid deposits derived from islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). In the absence of longitudinal studies, it is unknown if the low β-cell mass in T2DM precedes diabetes onset (is a risk factor for diabetes) or develops as a consequence of the disease process. Although insulin resistance is a risk factor for T2DM, most individuals who are insulin resistant do not develop diabetes. By inference, an increased β-cell workload results in T2DM in some but not all individuals. We propose that the extent of the β-cell mass that develops during childhood may underlie subsequent successful or failed adaptation to insulin resistance in later life. We propose that a low innate β-cell mass in the face of subsequent insulin resistance may expose β-cells to a burden of insulin and IAPP biosynthetic demand that exceeds the cellular capacity for protein folding and trafficking. If this threshold is crossed, intracellular toxic IAPP membrane permeant oligomers (cylindrins) may form, compromising β-cell function and inducing β-cell apoptosis.
Two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and another 26 million have type 2 diabetes (T2D). Patients with diabetes and/or the metabolic syndrome have a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke compared with people with normal insulin sensitivity. Decreased insulin sensitivity in cardiovascular tissues as well as in traditional targets of insulin metabolic signaling, such as skeletal muscle, is an underlying abnormality in obesity, hypertension, and T2D. In the vasculature, insulin signaling plays a critical role in normal vascular function via endothelial cell nitric oxide production and modulation of Ca2+ handling and sensitivity in vascular smooth muscle cells. Available evidence suggests that impaired vascular insulin sensitivity may be an early, perhaps principal, defect of vascular function and contributor to the pathogenesis of vascular disease in persons with obesity, hypertension, and T2D. In the overweight and obese individual, as well as in persons with hypertension, systemic and vascular insulin resistance often occur in concert with elevations in plasma aldosterone. Indeed, basic and clinical studies have demonstrated that elevated plasma aldosterone levels predict the development of insulin resistance and that aldosterone directly interferes with insulin signaling in vascular tissues. Furthermore...
Ticagrelor, a novel reversible antiplatelet agent, has a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) black box warning to avoid maintenance doses of aspirin (ASA) >100 mg/daily. This restriction is based on the hypothesis that ASA doses >100 mg somehow decreased ticagrelor’s benefit in the Platelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes (PLATO) U.S. cohort. However, these data are highly postrandomized, come from a very small subgroup in PLATO (57% of patients in the U.S. site), and make no biological sense. Moreover, the ticagrelor-ASA interaction was not significant by any multivariate Cox regression analyses. The Complete Response Review for ticagrelor indicates that for U.S. PLATO patients, an ASA dose >300 mg was not a significant interaction for vascular outcomes. In the ticagrelor-ASA >300 mg cohort, all-cause and vascular mortality were not significantly increased (hazard ratio [HR] 1.27 [95% CI 0.84–1.93], P = 0.262 and 1.39 [0.87–2.2], P = 0.170), respectively. Furthermore, for major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs), 30-day all-cause mortality, and 30-day vascular mortality, the strongest interaction is the diabetes-ASA interaction. That is, patients who had diabetes had significantly fewer MACEs through study end (0.49 [0.34–0.63]...
We will review information about and present hypotheses as to the anatomy of brown adipose tissue (BAT). Why is it located where it is in humans? Its anatomical distribution is likely to confer survival value by protecting critical organs from hypothermia by adaptive thermogenesis. Ultimately, the location and function will be important when considering therapeutic strategies for preventing and treating obesity and type 2 diabetes, in which case successful interventions will need to have a significant effect on BAT function in subjects living in a thermoneutral environment. In view of the diverse locations and potential differences in responsiveness between BAT depots, it is likely that BAT will be shown to have much more subtle and thus previously overlooked functions and regulatory control mechanisms.
The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a highly conserved sensor of cellular energy that appears to have arisen at an early stage during eukaryotic evolution. In 2001 it was shown to be activated by metformin, currently the major drug for treatment for type 2 diabetes. Although the known metabolic effects of AMPK activation are consistent with the idea that it mediates some of the therapeutic benefits of metformin, as discussed below it now appears unlikely that AMPK is the sole target of the drug. AMPK is also activated by several natural plant products derived from traditional medicines, and the mechanisms by which they activate AMPK are discussed. One of these is salicylate, probably the oldest medicinal agent known to humankind. The salicylate prodrug salsalate has been shown to improve metabolic parameters in subjects with insulin resistance and prediabetes, and whether this might be mediated in part by AMPK is discussed. Interestingly, there is evidence that both metformin and aspirin provide some protection against development of cancer in humans, and whether AMPK might be involved in these effects is also discussed.
The small intestine is traditionally viewed as an organ that mediates nutrient digestion and absorption. This view has recently been revised owing to the ability of the duodenum to sense nutrient influx and trigger negative feedback loops to inhibit glucose production and food intake to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Further, duodenal nutrient-sensing defects are acquired in diabetes and obesity, leading to increased glucose production. In contrast, jejunal nutrient sensing inhibits glucose production and mediates the early antidiabetic effect of bariatric surgery, and gut microbiota composition may alter intestinal nutrient-sensing mechanisms to regain better control of glucose homeostasis in diabetes and obesity in the long term. This perspective highlights nutrient-sensing mechanisms in the gut that regulate glucose homeostasis and the potential of targeting gut nutrient-sensing mechanisms as a therapeutic strategy to lower blood glucose concentrations in diabetes.
The intake of added sugars, such as from table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup has increased dramatically in the last hundred years and correlates closely with the rise in obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Fructose is a major component of added sugars and is distinct from other sugars in its ability to cause intracellular ATP depletion, nucleotide turnover, and the generation of uric acid. In this article, we revisit the hypothesis that it is this unique aspect of fructose metabolism that accounts for why fructose intake increases the risk for metabolic syndrome. Recent studies show that fructose-induced uric acid generation causes mitochondrial oxidative stress that stimulates fat accumulation independent of excessive caloric intake. These studies challenge the long-standing dogma that “a calorie is just a calorie” and suggest that the metabolic effects of food may matter as much as its energy content. The discovery that fructose-mediated generation of uric acid may have a causal role in diabetes and obesity provides new insights into pathogenesis and therapies for this important disease.
Inhibitors of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) are a novel class of antidiabetes drugs, and members of this class are under various stages of clinical development for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). It is widely accepted that SGLT2 is responsible for >80% of the reabsorption of the renal filtered glucose load. However, maximal doses of SGLT2 inhibitors fail to inhibit >50% of the filtered glucose load. Because the clinical efficacy of this group of drugs is entirely dependent on the amount of glucosuria produced, it is important to understand why SGLT2 inhibitors inhibit <50% of the filtered glucose load. In this Perspective, we provide a novel hypothesis that explains this apparent puzzle and discuss some of the clinical implications inherent in this hypothesis.
Although diabetes is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) worldwide, most people with diabetic nephropathy will never develop ESRD but will instead die of cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD). The first evidence of kidney injury in diabetes is often microalbuminuria, itself also an independent risk marker for CVD. Although the two processes are closely associated, the recent failure of antialbuminuric therapies to affect CV outcomes has encouraged a reconsideration of how albuminuria may occur in diabetes and how increased urinary albumin excretion may be indicative of CV risk. The relationship between CVD and urinary albumin content (even within the normal range) is widely considered to reflect the common underlying pathology of endothelial dysfunction. At the same time, recent years have witnessed a growing appreciation that diabetic albuminuria commonly arises from damage to glomerular podocytes, specialized epithelial cells acting as the final barrier to macromolecular flow into the urinary filtrate. These superficially discordant paradigms can be assimilated by the emerging concept of endothelial-podocyte crosstalk across the glomerular filtration barrier, whereby the actions of one type of cell may profoundly influence the function of the other. The bidirectional nature of this paracrine network is illustrated by the actions of the vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A)/VEGF receptor-2 and activated protein C systems...
Enhancing β-cell proliferation is a major goal for type 1 and type 2 diabetes research. Unraveling the network of β-cell intracellular signaling pathways that promote β-cell replication can provide the tools to address this important task. In a previous Perspectives in Diabetes article, we discussed what was known regarding several important intracellular signaling pathways in rodent β-cells, including the insulin receptor substrate/phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt (IRS-PI3K-Akt) pathways, glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) S6 kinase pathways, protein kinase Cζ (PKCζ) pathways, and their downstream cell-cycle molecular targets, and contrasted that ample knowledge to the small amount of complementary data on human β-cell intracellular signaling pathways. In this Perspectives, we summarize additional important information on signaling pathways activated by nutrients, such as glucose; growth factors, such as epidermal growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and Wnt; and hormones, such as leptin, estrogen, and progesterone, that are linked to rodent and human β-cell proliferation. With these two Perspectives, we attempt to construct a brief summary of knowledge for β-cell researchers on mitogenic signaling pathways and to emphasize how little is known regarding intracellular events linked to human β-cell replication. This is a critical aspect in the long-term goal of expanding human β-cells for the prevention and/or cure of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.