Obesity / Prediabetic Clinical Trials

Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is currently conducting the following obesity / pre-diabetic clinical trials:

Ethnic Differences in Mechanisms of Pancreatic Cell Failure


Ethnic Differences in Mechanisms of Pancreatic Cell Failure

Principal Investigator: Lidia Szczepaniak, PhD

IRB Approval Number: 19774

Contact: Edward Szczepaniak (310) 248-8105

Status: Enrolling

Summary: The unrelenting obesity epidemic has led to a dramatic increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes and its associated microvascular and macrovascular complications. Minorities - African Americans, and Mexican Americans are affected disproportionately by type 2 diabetes, but the reasons are incompletely understood. Like Zucker Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rat model, human type 2 diabetes is characterized by progressive inability of pancreatic β cell to compensate for tissue insulin demands. In ZDF rats, a major mechanism of progressive β cell failure is excessive accumulation of triglyceride in the islets, leading to a production of toxic intermediates that cause β cell apoptosis. We recently have had a major technological breakthrough in which proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) allows precise measurement of pancreatic triglyceride content in humans. Having now validated the technique in ZDF rats and human, our new human data lead us to hypothesize that profound ethnic differences in a regional fat distribution are such that pancreatic steatosis plays more important role in the pathogenesis of β cell failure and type 2 diabetes in Mexican American than in African Americans. Such striking ethnic difference should provide the new insights into mechanisms and therapeutic targets for preserving β cell function in high risk human populations.

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