Researchers from the Turku Bioscience Centre in Finland have found changes in molecules in the blood that might be new markers of type 1 diabetes. New findings may help understand the early pathogenesis of the disease. Finland has the highest recorded incidence of type 1 diabetes in children younger than 15 years, and the global prevalence is continuously increasing among the children in many developed countries. Using state-of-the-art metabolomics approach, researchers from the Turku Bioscience Centre, a joint unit of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, found changes in circulating molecules in the blood, i.e. metabolites, already before the initiation of islet autoimmunity. The findings may have important implications in the search of early markers of type 1 diabetes and for understanding the disease pathogenesis. The study was part of the extensive Finnish DIPP cohort study. In current preclinical settings, the appearance of islet autoantibody is the first detectable signal implicating the initiation of autoimmunity and risk of progression towards diabetes. However, although autoantibody positivity precedes the clinical disease by months to years, the time point at which autoantibody appears may already be too late for therapeutic approaches aimed at preventing progression to overt diabetes.
The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) remains one of the most highly quoted when debating the benefits and risks of hormone therapy. Now a new study based on WHI data demonstrates that, among other benefits, hormone therapy decreases a number of metabolites that are directly linked with Type 2 diabetes. Study results will be presented during The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Chicago, September 25 to 28, 2019. In the WHI trials, the incidence of diabetes was reduced with the use of hormone therapy, particularly combined estrogen and progestin therapy. The new study utilized data from a prior study which measured approximately 370 metabolites on 1,362 women involved in the WHI. Researchers in the current study selected nine metabolites that were previously found to be strongly associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes in other studies to see if they were affected by randomized hormone therapy. Of the nine targeted metabolites, seven were significantly decreased with the use of hormone therapy consisting of a combination of estrogen and progestin. Interestingly, scientists found that the decreases were more pronounced with the use of estrogen and progestin combined than with estrogen alone. This result parallels the findings from the WHI on the effect of hormone therapy on the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
- Edited by Dr. Gianfrancesco Cormaci, PhD, specialist in Clinical Biochemistry.