Obesity and Diabetes Research

המעבדה לחקר ההשמנה והסוכרת
Head of the lab:
Konstantin Bloch, PhD
Phone: 972-3-9376280, 054-7972660
email: kbloch@clalit.org.il,
Research team:
  • ד"ר פנינה ורדי
  • ד"ר אלכס וניציקין
  • ד"ר דניאל לזר
Research Areas:

Fields of Interest & Research Topics

There is increasing evidence supporting a link between development of metabolic disorders (diabetes and obesity) and cognitive dysfunctions associated with impaired brain insulin signaling. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, which is often associated with brain insulin resistance and deficiency. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, and although symptomatic treatments are available, they have many limitations.

For many years, the laboratory team was involved in the development of bio-artificial pancreas for treatment of type 1 diabetes. Bio-artificial pancreas is an implanted device that contains immunoisolated pancreatic islets, functioning like a real pancreas to release insulin and control blood glucose. The main limitation of this approach is insufficient oxygen supply to immunoisolated islets. To improve islet oxygenation, we developed proprietary photosynthetic oxygen generator for bio-artificial pancreas (Fig.1).

In collaboration with the Laboratory of Biological Psychiatry (Head Prof. Avi Weizman), we recently established a new rat model of sporadic Alzheimer's disease-like dementia associated with brain insulin resistance and obesity-related metabolic dysfunctions such as hyperinsulinemia, hyperleptinemia and fatty liver (Fig. 2). In order to attenuate cognitive and peripheral metabolic dysfunctions, we developed islet-based technology for insulin delivery to the brain (Fig. 3). Our results demonstrate that islet transplantation into cranial subarachnoid cavity may be used as a promising tool for treatment of Alzheimer's disease dementia associated with peripheral metabolic dysfunctions.

Fig.1. Photosynthetic oxygen generator.
Artif Organs. 2006;30:715-18
Tissue Eng. 2006;12:337-44
Horm Metab Res. 2015;47:24-30

Fig.2. Obese rat with Alzheimer's disease-like dementia. J Alzheimer's Dis. 2017;60:121-136

Fig.3. Insulin delivery to the brain of obese rats with Alzheimer's disease. Pancreatic islet grafted into subarachnoid cavity. J Alzheimer's Dis. 2018;65(4):1445-58; Transplantation. 2019;103(6):e137-38; Plos One (in press)

Contact details
Bloch Konstantin Mobile: 054-7972660
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