Recovering 'bodyguard' cells in pancreas may restore insulin production in diabeticsSubmitted by Bob-45 on Fri, 10/12/2012 - 10:52
Public release date: 9-Oct-2012
Contact: Steve Graff
Thomas Jefferson University
T regulatory cells in the pancreatic lymph nodes play important role in diabetes onset and recovery of the insulin production in diabetic patients, say Thomas Jefferson University researchers
PHILADELPHIA—The key to restoring production of insulin in type I diabetic patients, previously known as juvenile diabetes, may be in recovering the population of protective cells known T regulatory cells in the lymph nodes at the "gates" of the pancreas, a new preclinical study published online October 8 in Cellular & Molecular Immunology by researchers in the Department of Bioscience Technologies at Thomas Jefferson University suggests.
Tatiana D. Zorina, M.D., Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioscience Technologies, Jefferson School of Health Professions, and colleagues addressed a question of whether type I diabetic patients' own beta cells, which produce insulin, could recover/regenerate if protected from autoimmune cells. If successful, such an approach would promote the patient's own insulin production without need for its supplementation by insulin injections or beta cell transplantation from the cadaver organ donors.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. As many as 3 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, and each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults are diagnosed in the United States. Type 1 diabetes is a disease that occurs as a result of destruction of beta cells producing insulin by autoimmune cells. The resulting lack of insulin, which is needed to metabolize/process the sugar, leads to increased levels of sugar in the blood and all clinical symptoms of type 1 diabetes. The only currently available therapies for type 1 diabetes patients are based on insulin provision (by different means).