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LRP5 is a novel member of the low-density lipoprotein receptor family that is genetically associated with Type 1 diabetes. As a start to defining the normal function of LRP5 and to generate testable hypotheses of its potential role in Type 1 diabetes pathogenesis, we carried out an extensive expression analysis of this gene at the mRNA and protein levels in normal human, monkey, and mouse, as well as in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice at several stages of diabetes development. In all species, expression of LRP5 was found in four functionally important cell types: the distributed mononuclear phagocyte system, the islets of Langerhans, vitamin A-metabolizing cells, and CNS neurons. Given the critical role of macrophages in the onset and progression of islet cell destruction in Type 1 diabetes and the hypothesized role of retinoids as modifiers of diabetes progression, these findings suggest that LRP5 may confer Type 1 diabetes risk by altering the normal functioning of one or more of these regulatory systems. Specifically, given that the LRP5 polymorphisms associated with diabetes are in the promoter region of the gene, alterations in LRP5 expression may be responsible for diabetes susceptibility and therefore may be potential targets for therapeutic intervention. (J Histochem Cytochem 48:1357-1368, 2000)

Original publication




Journal article


J Histochem Cytochem

Publication Date





1357 - 1368


Animals, Blotting, Western, Cell Line, Chlorocebus aethiops, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, In Situ Hybridization, Islets of Langerhans, Kidney Tubules, LDL-Receptor Related Proteins, Liver, Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-5, Macaca mulatta, Macrophages, Mice, Mice, Inbred NOD, Neurons, Pigment Epithelium of Eye, Receptors, LDL, Spleen, Thymus Gland, Vitamin A