Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Type 1 diabetes triggered by 'lazy' regulatory T-cells

17.01.2008
Immunity-controlling T-cells wane with age in some people, triggering autoimmune diabetes

A research team led by Dr. Ciriaco A. Piccirillo of McGill University’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology has discovered that in some individuals, the specialized immunoregulatory T-cells that regulate the body’s autoimmune reactions may lose their effectiveness and become “lazy” over time, leading to the onset of type 1 diabetes. The study – conducted on non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, which were genetically engineered to model human diabetes – was published in the January 2008 edition of the journal Diabetes.

In diabetes mellitus, or type 1 diabetes, insulin-producing beta islet cells in the pancreas are attacked and destroyed by the body’s own immune system. Patients must inject insulin on a regular basis or risk diabetic shock and death, and are also at increased risk for numerous secondary health problems, including blindness, heart attack and stroke.

“The genetic and cellular mechanisms by which the immune system goes out of control and destroys the islets has been an enigma and an area of great interest over the last few decades,” said Dr. Piccirillo, Canada Research Chair in Regulatory Lymphocytes of the Immune System, and a leading figure in this research area. “For the last several years, it’s been postulated that non-functional regulatory T-cells are the critical mechanism, and this study proves it.”

Regulatory CD4+ T-cells, whose development and function is dictated by the Foxp3 gene in mice and humans, “have the primary function of pouring a cold shower on inflammatory responses,” explained Dr. Piccirillo. “They suppress and regulate the function of various immune responses to microbes, tumors, allergens and transplants.” While the diabetes-susceptible NOD mice actually generate normal numbers of Foxp3 T-cells over their lifetimes, Dr. Piccirillo and his colleagues discovered that the T-cells’ functional potency declined with age, leaving potential autoimmune responses in the pancreas unchecked.

It is likely, the researchers say, that certain genetic predispositions, coupled with the possible contribution of external environmental factors or infections, could potentially alter regulatory T-cell function in susceptible individuals and trigger a full-scale diabetic autoimmune reaction in the pancreas.

“Once they start, these immune responses are like a fire that goes unchecked by firemen, or a car going downhill without brakes,” said Dr. Piccirillo. Moreover, he said, this discovery not only elucidates the mechanism by which type 1 diabetes is triggered, but it also points the way to the development of new immune system-based therapies for a whole range of diseases.

“We believe that these regulatory cells may represent a kind of master switch, and by understanding how they are made, how they function and how they survive, we may be able to stop disease from occurring.”

Mark Shainblum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>