Baylor College of Medicine

Oxidative Stress And Mitochondria In Pediatric Type 2 Diabetes (H-52054)



Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has become a very common, world-wide problem in children and teens. Compared to adults, T2D disease is much more aggressive in youth, and causes serious damage to the kidneys, eyes and heart faster than in adults. 

Previous research has found that toxic chemicals made in the body result in a stressful condition called oxidative stress. Excess oxidative stress is regarded as the reason for diabetic complications in adults, such as damage to their eyes, kidneys, feet and hearts. Oxidative stress also causes intense tissue irritation (called inflammation), damage to blood vessels (called endothelial dysfunction), and interferes with energy generation by the engines of the cells (or mitochondria). 

To protect from the harmful oxidative stress, our bodies (and especially those of patients with diabetes) depend on a protective antioxidant made by the body known as glutathione. Adults with T2D have very low levels of glutathione, which puts them at risk of harm from oxidative stress. Could children with diabetes also have low glutathione levels, and is this the reason why diabetes harms children so quickly?

IRB: H-52054




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