Genetics of Diabetes Complications
Rhiannon Whiting; Dr Lois Balmer
The peaks in this Figure show the location of two genes which mediate the kidney's response to diabetes. Identifying these genes will be important in understanding the development of diabetes complications.
We established a mouse model that displays changes in kidney weight after the onset of diabetes. This is a feature that is simple to measure and is relevant to human diabetes complications. Rhiannon Whiting, as part of her Honours degree, tested DNA from mice that we had specially bred. She was able to show that mice with the diabetes-induced kidney changes were likely to share genes. The two regions identified are also found in humans. Research has found this area contains diabetes complication genes. We are confident that we will be able to identify candidate genes causing diabetic nephropathy (kidney disorder) and possible other complications in humans. Caroline Rudnicka, with help from Lois and Violet Peeva, continued this work as part of her Honours project in 2007.