ARTICLE | Tools & Techniques

Gene therapy for diabetics

December 4, 2000 8:00 AM UTC

Current treatments for diabetes rely on numerous daily blood glucose measurements and insulin injections and adherence to a strict diet, yet patients still live with risk of retinopathies, circulatory problems leading to limb loss, and hypoglycemic crises. Researchers at the University of Calgary and Yonsei University in Korea have reported long term resolution of clinical signs of Type I diabetes in animal models from a single treatment using an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV) construct containing a gene for a single chain human insulin analog (SIA).

The idea of gene therapy with an insulin or insulin analog gene in patients with Type I diabetes is not new, but providing expression of the gene at appropriate times resulting in control of blood glucose levels had not been reported before this study reported recently in Nature. ...