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A comprehensive approach to the genetics of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM): understanding the role of genes and their products in the pathogenesis and development of complications in IDDM

Objective

- To identify and functionally characterise the genes responsible for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and its complications in man in order :
- To fully understand, at the molecular level, the complex pathogenetic processes leading to beta-cell destruction and eventually to IDDM and the development of complications. The ultimate goal is :
- To design new rational preventive/curative strategies for the treatment of IDDM and its complications.

IDDM is a serious health problem in Europe and a costly one. The cumulative incidence rate of IDDM (0-90 years) is about 1.0 per cent, and the incidence rates of IDDM in the EU Member States have increased at least 2 to 3 fold over the last 4 decades. The direct and indirect costs of the diabetes problem (IDDM and NIDDM) in the European Union can be estimated at approximately 200 million ECU/million inhabitants/year. IDDM is amongst the leading causes of blindness, and diabetes is the largest contributor to dialysis - and renal transplantation programmes globally, and 25-30 per cent of lower limb amputations are performed on the 2-3 per cent diabetes in the populations. Thus, IDDM is a devastating disease carrying a heavy burden of reduced quality and quantity of life. Research over the last 20 years has made it clear that understanding in detail the processes leading to beta-cell destruction and IDDM and how each element is under genetic control is the key to the design of new treatments aimed at the disease process as such. Know-how and technology from modern immunology, cell biology and molecular genetics (the human genome project in particular) make the characterisation of the genetic and molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of IDDM possible in unprecedented detail. The collection of sera and DNA from very large, population-based, ethnically homogenous, fully genetically informative and clinically well-characterised IDDM family materials from high IDDM incidence countries is a unique resource which will be established.

The collection of family materials can be achieved only across Europe. The hitherto most detailed picture of the genetics of IDDM and the molecular basis of its pathogenesis and complications will result from the proposed research. This is expected to allow the design of new rational therapeutic approaches to the prevention and cure of IDDM and identification of IDDM patients at risk for developing complications.

The proposed research could open up new opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry in Europe.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Novo-Nordisk A/S
Address
2,Niels Steensens Vej
2820 Gentofte
Denmark

Participants (6)

KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE
Sweden
Address
Karolinska Hospital
171 76 Stockholm
NORWEGIAN INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Norway
Address

0403 Oslo
RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF THE HOSPITAL DE SANTA CREU I SANT PAU
Spain
Address
Avinguda Sant Antoni Maria Claret 167
08025 Barcelona
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
Address
Roosevelt Drive
OX3 7BN Oxford/headington
Umeå Universitet
Sweden
Address
10,Lasarettsområdet, Byggnad
901 87 Umeå
University of Athens
Greece
Address
24,Mesogion Avenue
11527 Athens