Immunotherapy bats out Type 1 diabetes in mice

With Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not create enough insulin to control the body's blood sugar levels in children and young adults. And so a challenge remains: how to develop an immunotherapy to both reverse diabetes and keep the disease in remission.

A new study completed by researchers at the University of North Carolina demonstrated injecting non-obese diabetic mice with non-depleting antibodies rapidly reversed Type 1 diabetes. Not only that, remission was maintained indefinitely, according to the study. The non-depleting immunotherapies attach to two proteins and T cells, without destroying those T cells. Previous studies showed an inability to attack only overactive T cells without destroying the basic T cells, which are essential to maintaining the body's immune system.

The blood sugar levels of the mice rose to normal in a mere 48 hours, and diabetes went into remission in 80% of the mice in 5 days time. The effects remained throughout the length of the study--400 days--in the majority of the mice.

"We've demonstrated that the use of non-depleting antibodies is very robust," said Roland Tisch, senior study author, in a statement. "We're now generating and plan to test antibodies that are specific for the human version of the CD4 and CD8 molecules."

The antibodies had a selective effect on the T cells. After treatment, all the T cells normally found in the pancreas or tissue associated with the organ had been evacuated. T cells in other tissues and blood were unaffected.

- read the abstract
- check out the release
- see the Medical Daily story

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