Diabetes-like symptoms from immune-suppressant drug explained

Scientists have discovered why diabetes-like symptoms develop in some patients prescribed rapamycin, an immune-suppressant drug widely used to prevent rejection in organ and bone marrow transplants.

Bacteria found on Easter Island

Rapamycin is a medication derived from bacteria in soil found on Rapa Nui, the Polynesian name for Easter Island. It blocks certain while blood cells that can reject foreign tissues and organs.

About 15 percent of patients develop insulin resistance and glucose intolerance when taking rapamycin, according to the study conducted by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The study found that normal mice given rapamycin had more trouble regulating their blood sugar because of a drop in insulin signaling.

However, other mice lacking a protein called Yin Yang 1 (YY1) were protected against the diabetes-like effect of rapamycin.

Researchers hypothesized that YY1 was responsible for the diabetic effects. To test this, they bred mice that lacked the YY1 gene and protein in their skeletal muscles.

When these mice took rapamycin, they showed no change in their muscles' glucose uptake or insulin signaling and were immune to the diabetic effects of the drug.

One implication of these results is that physicians should consider prescribing diabetes medication along with rapamycin.

Researchers continue to study the effects of this medication on YY1, examining the possibility that dietary factors may play a role in the risk of developing diabetes symptoms.

Rapamycin being tested as cancer treatment

Rapamycin, is also known as sirolimus and sold under the brand name Rappamune. It's currently is being tested as a treatment for kidney cancer, brain tumors, mantle cell lymphoma, and other cancers.

The drug has also shown in recent animal studies to potentially extend life. A previous study published in Nature found that mice that took rapamycin lived longer than mice that did not.

The results of the current study raise concerns for over using the drug to treat cancers and slow aging.

Rapamycin inhibits the mTOR signaling pathway in cells, a factor regulating the growth and survival of cells. Elevated mTOR activity is one indicator of many cancers.

The study was published in Cell Metabolism.

Source: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

Bilberry tea sounds like the favorite drink at a Hobbit cafe, but the mild sounding bilberry comes with a tall list of powerful health benefits....

With its slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional punch farro is an ancient whole grain worth a place in our pantry.

Farro...

=It’s helpful to know the difference between a food’s total grams of carbohydrate, and net grams of carbohydrate since only net carbs affect blood...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

In Ayurvedic and Oriental Medicine, herbs are frequently used to help people regulate their blood sugar. It is less common, but not unheard-of, in...

More Articles

=It’s helpful to know the difference between a food’s total grams of carbohydrate, and net grams of carbohydrate since only net carbs affect blood...

It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that eating peanuts or peanut butter at breakfast can help keep your blood...

You may think beer, wine, and liquor would be categorized as food, but in reality, alcohol is a drug. Just like medications, alcohol has powerful...

Of the 100,000 people diagnosed with kidney disease each year in the U.S., 43.8 percent of them will have developed it because of diabetes,...

Bilberry tea sounds like the favorite drink at a Hobbit cafe, but the mild sounding bilberry comes with a tall list of powerful health benefits....

Danica, better known by her YouTube username, DiabeticDanica, has had Type 1 diabetes...

Steve Gilbert, the writer of the blog Without Envy, has a young daughter named Lia who has diabetes. This...

With its slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional punch farro is an ancient whole grain worth a place in our pantry.

Farro...

Danica, better known by her YouTube username, DiabeticDanica, has had Type 1 diabetes...

Diabetic patients who must inject insulin daily (or multiple times a day) often deal with the side effect of injection-site bruising. Luckily,...

Diabetes and hypoglycemia appear as very similar conditions because one of the consequences of diabetes can be hypoglycemia. Both conditions...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

Stomach aches and other gastrointestinal pains can be signs of a bigger problem. One such problem for diabetics is gastroparesis, or delayed...

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...