Sanda Ljubicic och Giorgio Ramadori

Sanda Ljubicic och Giorgio Ramadori

Hjelt grant holder 2017, University of Geneva

Life without insulin: Testing the anti-diabetic role of a candidate involved in inflammation

Diabetes affects millions of patients around the world. The two main types of the disease, type 1 and type 2, are both characterized by progressive beta-cell death and can lead to insulin deficiency. Chronic high blood levels, polydipsia, polyuria, weight loss and ketoacidosis are among the clinical manifestations of insulin deficiency. This condition leaves patients dependent on insulin treatment for life.

Unfortunately, insulin replacement is not sufficient to reproduce the control of metabolic homeostasis seen in healthy subjects. In fact, patients receiving quotidian insulin injections are prone to accumulation of lipids in tissues and are at constant risk of hypoglycemia. This is due to insulin’s lipogenic and glycaemia fast lowering actions. Thus, better interventions are urgently needed.

The studies proposed in this project are based on strong preliminary data uncovering a molecular component with unpredicted role against both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The grant generously offered by the Bo and Kerstin Hjelt Diabetes Foundation will be used to characterize this unexpected anti-diabetic effect and investigate the mechanism of action. Results from our study have the potential to unravel a novel therapeutic target with the ultimate goal to improve life expectancy and quality of the millions affected by diabetes. 


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