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Published: 11 May, 2016

Diabetic mice provide potential insights into diabetes development

NEWS Diabetic mice have higher levels of glutamic acids in their blood and their B cells, which are a kind of white blood cells, produce large amounts of antibodies. Both factors could be a part of the trigger-mechanism for the death of insulin producing beta-cells associated with the development of type 1 diabetes in humans. This is according to a doctoral dissertation from Umeå University.

“We have uncovered changes that happen in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice before they develop diabetes,” says Viqar Banday, doctoral student at the Department of clinical microbiology. “A better understanding of the mechanism that initiate the onset of this common disease could be important for the development of future treatment strategies. This could either be to slowdown the disease or target the main effector cells, which form the main part of the beta-cell killing machinery.” 

In type 1 diabetes, which is one of the most common autoimmune diseases that affects children, the body’s own immune system destroys the insulin- producing beta-cells. However, environmental factors and problems in the immune system that trigger the disease are poorly understood.

Together with research colleagues at the Department of clinical microbiology, Viqar Banday used NOD mice as a research model. NOD mice are useful because the mice develop a disease similar to type 1 diabetes in humans. The research results show that NOD mice have altered metabolites, including elevated levels of glutamic acid in their blood, at very early age and that this is toxic to the insulin producing beta-cells.

Viqar Banday (Photo: Shrikant Kolan)

Viqar Banday has also studied how the NOD mice reacted to vaccination. The mice showed a strong reaction to vaccines, which the researchers believe is due to defects in a certain group of white blood cells called B lymphocytes.

Viqar Banday comes from Kashmir, India. In addition to his doctoral studies at the Department of clinical microbiology, Viqar has been part of biomedicine course as a lab assistant. He has a background in Biochemistry.

Read a digital publication of the dissertation

About the public dissertation defense:

On Friday May 13, Viqar Banday, Department of clinical microbiology, is publicly defending his dissertation with the title: Metab-immune analysis of the non-obese diabetic mouse. Faculty opponent: Åsa Andersson, Drug design and pharmacology, Systems pharmacology, University of Copenhagen. Principal supervisor: Kristina Lejon.
The public defense of the dissertation takes place at 13:00 in Room A5, Building 6A, Stairwell R, one floor down, Norrlands universitetssjukhus

For more information, please contact:

Viqar Banday, Department of clinical microbiology, Immunology, Umeå UniversityPhone: +46 76 796 3770

Editor: Daniel Harju