Diabetes and Metabolism
Diabetes research at the University has strong arms in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a loss of insulin producing β-cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is much a consequence of obesity and its main characteristic is the development of insulin resistance in target cells of the hormone. This is compensated for by increased release of insulin by the β-cells, but eventually these cells cease to compensate and overt diabetes can be diagnosed.
TYPE 1 DIABETES research is focused at the aetiology of the disease, especially the role of genetic disposition, viral infections and the autoimmune mechanisms that lead to β-cell destruction. Much of this work is based on a prospective epidemiologic study (ABIS) of 17000 children that are followed from birth and now have reached school age. Another exciting area is the possibility to prevent or delay type 1 diabetes by immunization.
TYPE 2 DIABETES and METABOLISM research has several branches, e.g.:
- The molecular mechanisms of insulin action in the target cells and the pathogenic mechanisms of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.
- Metabolism and lipid storage in the adipocyte in the context of obesity, which is the dominating risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
- The eventual failure of β-cells to compensate the insulin resistance by churning out more insulin is investigated with a focus on the production of protein aggregates (amyloid) and the role of amyloid for β-cell destruction in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.
- To improve identification of cardiovascular risk factors, 750 patients with type 2 diabetes are followed by a large prospective study based in a primary care setting with multidisciplinary investigations (CARDIPP).
Diabetes research is organised in the Diabetes Research Centre that also arranges meetings, courses and bi-weekly seminars.
Research groups within Diabetes and Metabolism
- Arnqvist, Hans Studies of vascular metabolism and diabetes
- Liedberg, Bo Biosensors
- Ludvigsson, Johnny Diabetology
- Strålfors, Peter Metabolism and insulin control of adipocytes
- Westermark, Gunilla Studies on proteins (e.g.: IAPP, SAA) involved in amyloid diseases
Last updated: 2012-08-20