Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center conducted a study to examine the underlying causes that predispose people of Mexcian ancestry than people of European ancestry to develop Type 2 diabetes.
Lead author of the study Nicholette Allred, Ph.D said, "Type 2 diabetes is really about how you dispose of your glucose - how long it sits in your bloodstream and how your organs react. With Type 2 diabetes, there is interplay between insulin release from the pancreas and insulin response in the peripheral tissues."
Scientists used sophisticated metabolic measures to assess the glucose response of more than 4,000 non-diabetic Mexican-Americans in seven separate studies. Each individual was genotyped to understand which gene variants are associated with how the body uses glucose.
The findings showed that insulin signaling and the body's response to it have both shared and distinct genetic contributions. Allred said, "Delineating the genetic components of these quantitative traits could potentially identify novel genetic risk factors that increase the risk to develop Type 2 diabetes."
Researchers found that some of the genes previously reported to be associated with diabetes overlapped between the two groups. Allred said, "As we look more closely at the biology, there are many pathways that contribute to development of the disease, and now with high quality metabolic measures we will be able to directly examine and try to understand it. Hopefully that will help us identify better targets for new drug therapies."
The study is published in 'Diabetes'.