More than 700,000 Americans have type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder in which the body errantly attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, causing chronically elevated levels of sugar in the blood, leading to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and nerve damage. Previously known as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed at a very early age, but in some cases it can be diagnosed in adulthood.
In this study, the Pitt researchers treated non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice with an antibody -- a type of protein produced by the immune system that recognizes and helps fight infections and other foreign substances in the body -- directed against a receptor known as CD137 on the surface of a type of immune cell called T-cells. Treating NOD mice with the anti-CD137 antibodies significantly suppressed the development of diabetes, whereas most of the control mice developed diabetes by the time they were six months old.
Interestingly, the antibody therapy did not appear to cure the NOD mice because the researchers were still able to see lymphocytes in their pancreatic islets, a tell-tale sign of pancreatic inflammation and autoimmunity. In addition, when the researchers isolated cells from the spleens of the antibody-treated mice and injected these cells into immune-deficient NOD mice, seven of the nine recipient mice developed type 1 diabetes, indicating that the donor mice still harbored pathogenic T-cells. On the other hand, when the researchers transferred a certain subset of T-cells from anti-CD137-treated mice that expressed two other receptors known as CD4 and CD25 to other immune-deficient NOD mice, it prevented the onset of diabetes in the recipient mice.
According to senior author William M. Ridgway, M.D., assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's department of rheumatology and clinical immunology, this therapy, if given early enough, may offer a viable method for preventing the onset of type 1 diabetes in genetically at-risk people.
"Our studies and others suggest that CD137 plays a significant role in the development of and genetic predisposition to type 1 diabetes. In this study, for the first time, we have demonstrated that CD137 antibody therapy can suppress the development of type 1 diabetes in mice and that the effect is dependent on the induction of a certain subset of regulatory T-cells. If we can demonstrate this same genetic predisposition and therapeutic effect in human type 1 diabetes patients, then this may prove to be a significant step toward preventing this disease before it can take hold," he explained.
Jim Swyers | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy