DRC & Research News

This page shares the latest news in T1D research and DRC’s community.

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insulin shot

Type 1 Diabetes May be Triggered by Bacteria

Original article published by Medical News Today on May 17, 2016. Click here to read the original article.

Study co-author Dr. David Cole, of the School of Medicine at Cardiff, and colleagues –

The researchers recently published their findings in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for around 5 percent of all diabetes cases. Previously known as “juvenile diabetes,” the condition is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults.

Type 1 diabetes arises when the body is unable to produce insulin – the hormone responsible for regulating blood glucose levels.

Killer T cells have high ‘cross-reactivity’

While the precise cause of type 1 diabetes is unclear, past research has shown that the condition occurs when killer T cells destroy beta cells – the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

In a previous study, Prof. Sewell and colleagues found high “cross-reactivity” among killer T cells, meaning that they can react to numerous triggers, including pathogens.

“Killer T cells sense their environment using cell surface receptors that act like highly sensitive fingertips, scanning for germs,” explains Dr. Cole.

“However, sometimes these sensors recognize the wrong target, and the killer T cells attack our own tissue. We, and others, have shown this is what happens during type 1 diabetes when killer T cells target and destroy beta cells.”

Once these beta cells are destroyed, insulin is no longer produced, meaning patients will require lifelong insulin therapy in order to control blood glucose levels.

Study sheds light on how killer T cells turn ‘rogue’

In their new study, the researchers suggest they may have uncovered a possible cause of type 1 diabetes, after finding that bacteria may spur killer T cells to attack beta cells.

The researchers identified a part of a bacterium that activates killer T cells, causing them to bind to beta cells and kill them.

“This finding sheds new light on how these killer T cells are turned into rogues, leading to the development of type 1 diabetes,” notes Dr. Cole.

The researchers say they hope their results will pave the way for new strategies to diagnose, prevent, and treat type 1 diabetes.

“We still have much to learn about the definitive cause of type 1 diabetes and we know that there are other genetic and environmental factors at play.

This research is significant as it pinpoints, for the first time, an external factor that can trigger T cells that have the capacity to destroy beta cells.”

As well as helping to understand what contributes to the development of type 1 diabetes, the researchers say their findings may also shed light on the causes of other autoimmune conditions.

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microscope close up

Type 1 Diabetes Researchers Solve Immune System Mystery

On April 25, 2016, scientists from the University of Lincoln, led by Dr. Michael Christie, announced that they had identified a previously unknown molecule attacked by the immune system in those with type 1 diabetes.

This is incredibly important for prevention and treatment of the disease, as it could lead to better identification of those at risk of developing type 1 diabetes and guide the development of new therapies to prevent the disease from developing.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that develops when a person’s immune system reacts to certain molecules in the pancreas that it would usually ignore.  Previously, scientists had identified four of these molecules, but the fifth one remained unknown for 20 years. Now, these researchers have identified the fifth molecule as Tetraspanin-7. Those with type 1 diabetes have antigens in their blood that are specific to each of these five molecules.

Why Is This Diabetes Research Important?

Doctors use tests that look for antibodies specific to these molecules in order to assess the risk of developing type 1 diabetes; the more antibodies a test detects, the higher the person’s chances are of developing diabetes. Discovering this fifth molecule means that these tests can be even more accurate.

Ultimately, though, this discovery goes beyond detecting a risk for diabetes. Scientists are currently looking for ways stop an immune attack before diabetes develops, and they hope that eventually, by detecting these antibodies and assessing the risk of type 1 diabetes, they can prevent it from ever developing.

Support More Innovative Type 1 Diabetes Research From Early-Career Scientists

Our vision is to eliminate type 1 diabetes by supporting innovative scientific inquiry; it’s why we exist.

To show your support of research projects to help scientists better understand type 1 diabetes and to find a way to treat, cure and prevent the disease, join our list of donors. Whether you support a specific research project or donate to our General Fund, supporting operating costs and funding scientific research, we’re grateful to have you on our team.

Source: http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=163437&CultureCode=en

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Kristin-Mussar in a labcoat

Type 1 Diabetes Research Updates

We’re so grateful for everyone who donates to individual projects and our General Fund – it allows us to accomplish our vision of supporting innovative scientific inquiry until type 1 diabetes is eliminated.

To show our gratitude, it’s important to us that we keep our donors updated on the research they’ve helped fund. Scientific research can at times be an arduous process, which is why we sometimes go months without any updates. However, our researchers are constantly working to complete their research projects and are dedicated to spending every day finding innovative new ways to treat and cure diabetes.

Update: Creating New Insulin-Producing Cells To Repair Damaged Pancreas

Kristin Mussar provided the following update to her research at the end of April:

In our last update we identified a population of macrophages residing in the pancreas of newborns that was necessary for islet cells to expand in number as well as to mature into functional insulin-producing cells. Recently, we found that a functionally similar population capable of boosting islet proliferation exists in the bone marrow of adult individuals, which suggests that there might be potential for islet repair in adults. We are currently investigating whether this bone marrow population can be used as a cell therapy to enhance the repair process of islet cells in adult mouse models of injury. Additionally, we are still working to characterize the molecular signals underlying the effects that this cell population has on islet cell expansion and maturation. Thank you again for donating and making this research possible!

Visit her project page to learn more about this study.

Once again, thanks for your support in helping our mission to prevent, treat and cure type 1 diabetes. It may sound cliché, but we truly couldn’t do it without you. Stay tuned for more updates later this summer. We’re expecting to hear from Dr. Subhadra Gunawardana and Wendy Yang, in particular!

To support more innovative research project like this, click here.

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Measuring blood sugar

Artificial Pancreas Protocol Deemed Feasible for Younger Kids

Original article published by HealthDay News on May 12, 2016. Click here to read the original article.

Artificial pancreas linked to three-fold reduction of time-in-hypoglycemia for 5- to 9-year-olds

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A child-specific version of the modular model predictive control (MMPC) algorithm is feasible and safe for 5- to 9-year-old children with type 1 diabetes, according to the first outpatient single-hormone artificial pancreas (AP) trial in a population of this age, published online May 10 inDiabetes Care.

Simone Del Favero, Ph.D., from the University of Padua in Italy, and colleagues conducted an open-label, randomized, crossover trial involving 30 children, aged 5 to 9 years, with type 1 diabetes. The authors compared three days with an AP with three days of parent-managed sensor-augmented pump (SAP).

The researchers observed a reduction in overnight time-in-hypoglycemia with the AP versus the SAP (median, 0.0 versus 2.2 percent; P = 0.002), with no significant change of time-in-target (56.0 and 59.7 percent, respectively; P = 0.430); there was an increase in mean glucose (173 versus 150 mg/dL; P = 0.002). The AP was associated with a three-fold reduction of time-in-hypoglycemia (P < 0.001) at a cost of reduced time-in-target (P = 0.022) and increased mean glucose (P < 0.001).

“This trial, the first outpatient single-hormone AP trial in a population of this age, shows feasibility and safety of MMPC in young children,” the authors write. “Algorithm retuning will be performed to improve efficacy.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies, several of which provided equipment for the study.

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See our approved research projects and campaigns.

Role of the integrated stress response in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis
In individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D), the insulin-producing beta cells are spontaneously destroyed by their own immune system. The trigger that provokes the immune system to destroy the beta cells is unknown. However, accumulating evidence suggest that signals are perhaps first sent out by the stressed beta cells that eventually attracts the immune cells. Stressed cells adapt different stress mitigation systems as an adaptive response. However, when these adaptive responses go awry, it results in cell death. One of the stress response mechanisms, namely the integrated stress response (ISR) is activated under a variety of stressful stimuli to promote cell survival. However, when ISR is chronically activated, it can be damaging to the cells and can lead to cell death. The role of the ISR in the context of T1D is unknown. Therefore, in this DRC funded study, we propose to study the ISR in the beta cells to determine its role in propagating T1D.
Wearable Skin Fluorescence Imaging Patch for the Detection of Blood Glucose Level on an Engineered Skin Platform
A Potential Second Cure for T1D by Re-Educating the Patient’s Immune System
L Ferreira
Validating the Hypothesis to Cure T1D by Eliminating the Rejection of Cells From Another Person by Farming Beta Cells From a Patient’s Own Stem Cells
Han Zhu
Taming a Particularly Lethal Category of Cells May Reduce/Eliminate the Onset of T1D
JRDwyer 2022 Lab 1
Can the Inhibition of One Specific Body Gene Prevent Type 1 Diabetes?
Is Cholesterol Exacerbating T1D by Reducing the Functionality and Regeneration Ability of Residual Beta Cells?
Regeneration Ability of Residual Beta Cells
A Call to Question… Is T1D Caused by Dysfunctionality of Two Pancreatic Cells (β and α)?
Xin Tong
Novel therapy initiative with potential path to preventing T1D by targeting TWO components of T1D development (autoimmune response and beta-cell survival)
flavia pecanha