Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Reducing vascular complications in diabetics

Diabetes is one of the most commonly found diseases and chronic conditions that may lead to vascular alterations resulting in small and large vessel diseases. An Italian research group discovered that the altered Glucose Regulated Protein94 (Grp94) found in blood plasma may facilitate the effective diagnosis and treatment of these complications.
Reducing vascular complications in diabetics
Diabetic mellitus is a chronic medical condition that is related to abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood. Over time, it may lead to blood vessel diseases varying from small vessel diseases involving the eyes, kidneys and nerves to large vessel diseases involving the heart and blood vessels. In fact, statistics show that a diabetic has equal chances of developing a serious cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke), as does a non-diabetic who has already had a myocardial infarction. Moreover, death rates from heart diseases are twice as high in diabetics than in non-diabetics.

People with diabetes may now be able to ward off cardiovascular complications thanks to a newly developed innovation. It was found that the increased proteolytic activity that may be one of the key causes of vascular damage is mainly due to high concentrations of Grp94 in blood plasma. In this way, the identification of such concentrations may lead to the effective prediction of these complications. Moreover, the blocking effects of anti-Grp94 antibodies on the proteolytic activity presents increased potential for using these in preventive or curative therapies.

The discovery has been successfully tested in "in vitro" experiments for proteolytic activity on specific substrate and growth effects on cultured cells. Therefore, specification of plasma level of Grp94 could be employed as a marker of increased risk of vascular damage. Moreover, purified Grp94 coming from diabetic plasma may be useful as an immunogen for designing and producing antibodies against it for both diagnostic and therapeutic use, thus contributing to significant limitations of the of vascular complications. Biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies engaged in immunology, immunochemical production, molecular biology and life science research are sought for licence agreements.
Record Number: 81177 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Biology, Medicine