Type 1 treatment in mice

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Type 1 treatment in mice

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Old 05-10-2012, 13:02   #1
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Default Type 1 treatment in mice

Saw this pop up in my news feed yesterday.

Procedure offers hope in type 1 diabetes

The results come from a trial in a dozen mice, and as we all know it's a long leap from mice to humans.

A three-pronged strategy — to knock out renegade immune cells, replace them and revitalize other cells that make insulin — might reverse type 1 diabetes. Scientists report in the May 9 Science Translational Medicine that seven of 12 diabetic mice treated with this combination were cured even after having lost the ability to make insulin for several weeks, the equivalent of a human patient who has needed insulin injections for a couple of years.
In the new study, researchers used specially designed antibodies in the mice to first wipe out rogue beta-cell-killing T cells from the immune system.

The mice then received a mismatched bone marrow graft to replace the immune cells. The mismatch seems necessary to prevent the newly developing T cells from targeting beta cells, says study coauthor Miao Wang, an endocrinologist at the City of Hope Beckman Research Institute in Duarte, Calif. Recipient mice also got stripped-down T cells from the spleens of the mismatched donor mice. These cells may help to avoid a backlash effect called graft-versus-host disease in which transplanted tissue attacks its new host.

To restore insulin production by beta cells, the mice received hormone and growth-factor injections for 60 days.
The seven mice cured of type 1 diabetes regained about 25 percent of their normal supply of beta cells, which made enough insulin to fend off high blood sugar. The beta cells were a mix of old cells that began to multiply after treatment and new beta cells with mysterious origins. “We believe there are pre-existing beta-cell progenitors inside the pancreas,” and these developed into new beta cells, says Wang.
Sounds promising, but I think there will be the same limitation as with islet cell transplants. In this case, it's where does the bone marrow come from.

To me, the most interesting part is that they've been able to get the mice to produce new beta cells. If another way could be found to make the immune cells stop attacking them without the need for a bone marrow transplant, that would seem to me to be a much more viable treatment.

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