Scientists have linked diabetes of the first type with the environment and epigenetics

Ученые связали диабет первого типа с экологией и эпигенетикой

. Geneticists have found that type one diabetes is acquired not genetic, and epigenetic reasons that can explain the sudden increase in the number of carriers of this disease in recent years, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

Approximately one tenth the proportion of diabetics suffer from a relatively rare form of the disease named “diabetes of the first type”. It develops not as a result of abnormalities in metabolism, and because of the destruction of the island special cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. They do not die by themselves, and due to the fact that they begins to attack the immune system, for whatever reason, consider them “enemies”.

According to who statistics, every year the disease kills about 150 thousand people, and the total number of diabetics is about 30 million people. Today there are ways of preventing this form of diabetes, because of what his life is media dependent on regular injections of insulin.

As noted by Dirk Paul (Dirk Paul) of Cambridge University (UK) and his colleagues, the number of people suffering from diabetes first type, in the last few years has grown significantly, which has led scientists to doubt that the disease develops solely for genetic reasons.

Many doctors and biologists have begun to assume that its development involved some environmental factors, as most of the new victims of type I diabetes lived in those regions of the Earth where there was relatively unfavorable environmental conditions. Such environmental factors like newly found genetics may not be reflected in the structure of genes and their protein “wrapper” that controls their readability.

Paul and his colleagues checked whether this is analyzing the genomes of five of the dozens of identical twins, one of whom suffers from diabetes of the first type and the second twin remains healthy.

Comparing the structure of their genes associated with the immune system, and protein wrapper, the scientists found no changes in the DNA, but have recorded hundreds of major shifts in the structure of its protein wrapper that led to a change in activity of a large number of genes. Such “mutations,” as noted by Paul and his colleagues, often lead to the development of cancer.

Finding such changes in a protein wrapped DNA, the researchers tested whether similar changes in the cells of other diabetics. Typing three hundred dobrovoltsev who were not relatives to each other, the authors conducted a similar experiment, which showed that changes in the structure of proteins characteristic of diabetics, is really present in their cells.

Moreover, the analysis of blood of newborn babies born in the families of diabetics, showed that their protein DNA packaging of such changes, which may explain why many of the descendants of diabetics do not suffer from the disease, presumably with hereditary nature.

All this, according to Paul and his colleagues, indicates that type one diabetes is a kind of “environmental” disease, developing under the influence of natural factors somehow change the structure of the protein packaging of DNA and causes the immune system to destroy the islet cells in the pancreas. How it happens and how this can be combated, the researchers plan to investigate in subsequent research.