AUG 01, 2020 3:30 AM PDT

Identifying Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

Type 2 diabetes affects millions around the world.  By itself, it prevents your body from properly using sugars from your food. The real problem is the increased risk type 2 diabetes brings with it.  It can cause kidney problems and increase your chances of cardiovascular disease fivefold.

Cardiomyopathy is when the heart muscles become large or rigid over time, which progressively weakens the heart. The increased muscle size actually decreases the volume of blood it can pump. Diabetic cardiomyopathy is the diabetes-associated cardiovascular disease.

Diabetic cardiomyopathy differs from standard cardiomyopathy in that it lacks the common precursors coronary arterial disease or hypertension. Diabetic cardiomyopathy has very few effective diagnostic testing methods. Echocardiography is the only diagnostic method available, but that may soon change.

A team from the South African Medical Research Council investigated possible biomarkers for cardiomyopathy. Biomarkers are a gene, protein, or another factor in the body that can track and diagnose diseases. Using a combination of prediction software and lab testing, they sought out new biomarkers for diabetic cardiomyopathy diagnosis.

The team examined the gene expression profiles of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and identified over two hundred biomarker candidates. They chose the top two, LOXL2 and ETFβ, to test in the laboratory. The team examined the expression of these two candidates in the cardiac tissue of diabetic and non-diabetic mice, and both were elevated in mice with diabetes. ETFβ levels began to decrease after some time, but LOXL2 levels remained elevated.

Both LOXL2 and ETFβ were elevated in the serum of the animals as well. The team followed both candidates levels in mice with progressive diabetic cardiomyopathy. Both LOXL2 and ETFβ levels changed as the hearts progressively got weaker. When they evaluated the two candidates’ predictive strength, they found that neither alone showed statistically significant abilities. Still, together they managed to produce a reasonably predictive ability in the mouse model.

With the prevalence of diabetes, it is a welcome sight to see new diagnostic tools come into view. Combined with new drugs aimed at protecting against diabetic cardiomyopathy, the future looks good. The team concludes, “Most importantly, our data strongly suggest that the combined use of LOXL2 and ETFβ displayed a good predictive power to detect the early onset of DCM and as such, support that the disease progression can be slowed through early intervention.”

Sources: Nature Scientific Reports, AJMCtv 

About the Author
Bachelors of the Sciences
Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
You May Also Like
AUG 18, 2022
Cardiology
Necessary Sleep Duration Linked to Genetics
AUG 18, 2022
Necessary Sleep Duration Linked to Genetics
Some people only need 4-6 hours of sleep to be well rested, and these people may also be more resistant to Alzheimer's d ...
AUG 25, 2022
Cardiology
Heart Abnormalities May Increase Dementia Risk
AUG 25, 2022
Heart Abnormalities May Increase Dementia Risk
A certain heart abnormality may increase risk of developing dementia by 35%.
SEP 13, 2022
Cardiology
Extreme Weather Threatens Heart Health
SEP 13, 2022
Extreme Weather Threatens Heart Health
Both unusually cold and unusually hot weather have been linked to heart disease deaths.
SEP 20, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
The Health of Your Teeth Could Impact Your Heart: Here's How
SEP 20, 2022
The Health of Your Teeth Could Impact Your Heart: Here's How
A variety of past studies have shown that there is some connection between oral health and heart health. Gum disease is ...
NOV 18, 2022
Plants & Animals
Cannabis Users Have Worse Bypass Outcomes, Increased Risk of Amputation
NOV 18, 2022
Cannabis Users Have Worse Bypass Outcomes, Increased Risk of Amputation
Lower extremity bypass surgery is a common procedure used to address occluded arteries in the leg, usually with the goal ...
NOV 28, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Experimental Drug Lowers 'Bad' Cholesterol by 70%
NOV 28, 2022
Experimental Drug Lowers 'Bad' Cholesterol by 70%
An experimental orally-administered drug reduces 'bad cholesterol' in mice by 70%. The corresponding research wa ...
Loading Comments...