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Status: 22.07.2018 22:35:54
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes which currently affects approximately 6.5 million individuals in Germany. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease which is often triggered by fatty liver and an accumulation of lipids in skeletal muscle and other organs. This in turn impairs the action of insulin (insulin resistance) and reduces its secretion. As a consequence, concentrations of glucose and fatty acids increase in the blood, mediating toxic effects on insulin-producing beta cells. Causes of obesity and type 2 diabetes are overnutrition and a sedentary way of life, a genetic predisposition as well as epigenetic alterations. The latter are chemical changes of the DNA nucleotides such as methylation that can have lasting effects on the activity of genes.
The aim of the department is to use specific mouse models to find novel disease genes, but also epigenetically regulated genes that contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, and beta-cell failure. The clarification of the function of novel genes allows a better understanding of the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. An additional focus is to study the effects of nutrition on the development of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes, taking into account the (epi)genetic alterations involved.