Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene therapy reverses type 1 diabetes in mice

21.06.2010
Researchers have developed an experimental cure for Type 1 diabetes, a disease that affects about one in every 400 to 600 children and adolescents. They will present their results in a mouse model of Type 1 diabetes on Sunday at The Endocrine Society's 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Using gene therapy, the team from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston tried to counter the two defects that cause Type 1 diabetes: autoimmune attack and destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells. They used nonobese diabetic mice, which spontaneously develop diabetes due to autoimmunity, just as humans do with Type 1 diabetes.

"A single treatment cured about 50 percent of the diabetic mice, restoring their blood sugar to normal so that they no longer need insulin injections," said study co-author Lawrence Chan, MD, DSc, chief of Baylor's diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism division.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas, the insulin "factory" of the body. The resulting near-complete deficiency of insulin—the hormone that controls blood sugar—leads to a buildup of high blood sugar and thus diabetes.

In past studies of their original gene therapy, Chan's group was able to stimulate new formation of beta cells in the liver and restore insulin production and normal blood sugar levels in more than 100 mice with chemically induced diabetes. However, in nonobese diabetic mice the treatment failed to reverse Type 1 diabetes because the mouse's immune system killed the newly formed beta cells, he said.

In this research, which was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes, Kidney and Digestive Diseases, Chan said they "added to the original gene therapy approach a protective gene that shields the newly formed beta cells from autoimmune attack." The added gene was for interleukin-10, an important regulator of the immune system. Past studies showed that interleukin-10 can prevent diabetes development in mice but cannot reverse the disease once it has developed because of the lack of beta cells.

However, when the researchers combined the gene therapy with interleukin-10 into a single intravenous injection, the treatment showed a complete reversal of diabetes in half of the mice during more than 20 months' follow-up. Although the therapy did not reverse autoimmunity throughout the body, it protected the new beta cells from the local destructive effect of autoimmunity, Chan explained.

"We developed a protective 'moat' around the new beta cells," he said. "We are now developing other strategies to try to fortify the newly formed beta cells and give them better weapons in addition to the moat, in order to increase the treatment's cure rate."

Why the gene therapy did not work in all the mice is unclear. However, Chan said the treated mice that did not have improvements in their blood sugar did gain weight and lived a little longer than untreated mice.

Aaron Lohr | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.endo-society.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bare bones: Making bones transparent
27.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>