The impact of high-salt diet on Type I Diabetes

Espiau Romera, Pilar
Mathieu, Chantal (dir.) ; Gysemans, Conny (dir.)

Universidad de Zaragoza, CIEN, 2019

Graduado en Biotecnología

Abstract: Today, autoimmune diseases are a serious problem for humanity and constitute severe, sometimes debilitating health complications. Approximately 6% of the population has an autoimmune disease and the incidence is increasing worldwide. One of the reasons for their development is the improper regulation of the immune system, in which regulatory T cells (Tregs) play an important role. Genetic and environment factors have a major impact on the initiation and progression of these diseases. Developed countries create a milieu in which cardiovascular, metabolic, and autoimmune diseases flourish. In particular, Western diet, including high-fat, high-sugar, high-protein, and high-salt consumption, along with regular consumption of processed and ‘fast foods’, encourages the development of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In some recent studies, high-salt diet has also been reported to influence the symptoms of autoimmune diseases and decrease Treg functionality. Therefore, the aim of the current project was to study whether a high-salt diet could trigger the development of autoimmune diseases in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model, focusing in this dissertation on the development of type 1 diabetes.
Here, we found that a high-salt diet did not elicit type 1 diabetes development in 16-week-old NOD mice with ongoing islet inflammation. These results were unexpected as mice fed with a similar high-salt regimen developed a more severe type of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model for multiple sclerosis. Moreover, high-salt intake aggravated the symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus, collagen-induced arthritis and experimental colitis. We assume however that the composition of the HSD and especially the origin of its proteins being 24% casein might have impeded the observations. When maintained on a standard chow, which normally contains natural non-purified ingredients, like wheat middlings, wheat germ, and soybeans, NOD mice have the greatest diabetes incidence. In contrast, the introduction of semi-purified casein- or hydrolyzed casein-based diets are the least diabetogenic when mice are maintained on these diets from a very young age. Although our mice were kept until 16 week of age on a natural ingredient diet, the switch to a diet with casein as the major protein source might have prevented the further development of type 1 diabetes.

Tipo de Trabajo Académico: Trabajo Fin de Grado

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