Gene Therapy Cures Diabetic Dogs In Only One Shot

by Rebecca on February 26, 2013

in Animals in the News

Puppies Against Diabetes

Puppies Against Diabetes Wikimedia Commons

Five lucky diabetic beagles have been cured of their canine type 1 diabetes using gene therapy, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes.

Researchers from Barcelona’s Universitat Autonoma previously found the therapy effective in treating mice, but this is the first time gene therapy — when a patient’s DNA is supplemented or changed to treat a disease — has proven successful in curing diabetes in large animals. Gene therapy encodes a functional gene to replace a mutated one, or inserts DNA that produces a therapeutic protein to treat a disease.

In this case, the dogs were injected with two extra genes that together form a “glucose sensor” that can regulate glucose uptake and reduce excessive glucose levels in the blood.

Four years later, the dogs that received both genes had no symptoms of diabetes and stabilized glucose levels. They recovered a normal body weight and didn’t exhibit any secondary complications.

Read more at: Popsci


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