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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
2-Sep-2014

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Contact: Corinne Williams
press_releases@the-jci.org
Journal of Clinical Investigation
@jclinicalinvest

Maternal low protein diet promotes diabetic phenotypes in offspring

Millions of people throughout the world are affected by diabetes. In particular, the rise in the incidence of type 2 diabetes is associated with global increases in obesity and changes in diet. There is also a genetic component to the development of type 2 diabetes, and recent evidence suggests that the fetal environment can influence the onset of this disease. A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that a maternal diet low in protein predisposes offspring to type 2 diabetes. Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi and colleagues at the University of Michigan fed female mice either a normal diet or one low in protein throughout their pregnancies. Offspring of mothers fed a low protein diet had decreased insulin levels and fewer β cells, the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. Additionally, as adults, insulin secretion by β cells in these offspring was defective. The β cell dysfunction in the offspring of mothers fed a low protein diet was associated with altered expression of microRNAs and autophagy pathways. Importantly, activation of autophagy pathways in utero restored β cell function in offspring from low-diet fed mothers. This study provides insight into how a maternal diet that is low in protein diet alters offspring β cell mass and function, predisposing offspring to type 2 diabetes.

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TITLE:
Maternal diet-induced microRNAs and mTOR underlie β cell dysfunction in offspring

AUTHOR CONTACT:
Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0678, USA.
Phone: 734.615.0262; E-mail: ebernal@umich.edu.

View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/74237?key=b5525807f859c75d6372



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