Diabetes drug may reduce heart attack risk in HIV patients

A diabetes drug may have benefits beyond lower blood sugar in patients with HIV. New research from the laboratory of Kevin E. Yarasheski, PhD, suggests the drug may prevent cardiovascular problems because it works to reduce inflammation that is linked to heart disease and stroke in these patients. The drug both improved metabolism and reduced inflammation in HIV-positive adults on antiretroviral therapy.

Mothers can pass traits to offspring through bacteria’s DNA

The DNA of bacteria that live in the body can pass a trait to offspring in a way similar to the parents’ own DNA, a new mouse study suggests. According to the authors, the discovery means scientists need to consider a significant new factor – microbial DNA– in their efforts to understand how genes influence illness and health.

Unusual skin cancer linked to chronic allergy from metal orthopedic implant

In rare cases, patients with allergies to metals such as nickel develop persistent skin rashes after metal devices are implanted near the skin. New research suggests these patients may be at increased risk of an unusual and aggressive form of skin cancer  from the inflammatory cells and molecules that gather at the site.

Study helps explain why MS is more common in women

A newly identified difference between female and male brains with multiple sclerosis (MS) may help explain why so many more women than men get the disease, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.

Immune cells may heal an injured heart

Researchers at the School of Medicine have shown that two major pools of immune cells are at work in the heart. Both belong to a class of cells known as macrophages. One appears to promote healing, while the other likely drives inflammation, which is detrimental to long-term heart function.

Vitamin D prevents clogged arteries in diabetics

People with diabetes often develop clogged arteries that cause heart disease. New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that when vitamin D levels are adequate in people with diabetes, blood vessels are less likely to clog. But in patients with insufficient vitamin D, immune cells bind to blood vessels near the heart, then trap cholesterol to block those blood vessels.

Treatment target for diabetes, Wolfram syndrome

Inflammation and cell stress are major factors in diabetes. Cell stress also plays a role in Wolfram syndrome, a rare, genetic disorder that afflicts children with many symptoms, including juvenile-onset diabetes. Now scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and elsewhere have identified a molecule that’s key to the cell stress-modulated inflammation that causes insulin-secreting cells to die.
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