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Shared islet networks in type 1 and 2 diabetes

21. May 2019

There is a strong genetic component in both type 1 and 2 diabetes (T1/2D) and in total hundreds of regions in our DNA that contain genes affecting disease risk are now known. For many researchers it has been somewhat of a surprise to find that there is only less than a handful of genes in common for T1D and T2D. This is remarkable because T1D and T2D have partly overlapping pathophysiological mechanisms and clinical similarities.

Joachim updated on the progress of a project aiming at identifying if and how risk genes for T1D and T2D interact in joint networks in islets being the common diseased tissue in both diabetes types. The research project uses a computational in silico approach taking advantage of several published datasets with various kinds of data such as islet gene expression.

The findings obtained so far suggest that some risk genes for T1D and T2D interact in islet networks whose function may be to regulate islet cell mass. Once completed, the study is anticipated to provide new insight into ‘genetic network commonality’ between T1D and T2D - information that can lead to generation of new hypotheses to be tested in the laboratory.