Causes of type 1 diabetes revealed?

Washington: In what may pave the way for therapeutic targets to prevent the onset of Type 1 diabetes, scientists claim to have found how immune cells come together in a perilous dance which leads to the condition.

Sometimes known as "early onset diabetes" or "juvenile diabetes", Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing cells. It obliges patients to maintain blood glucose monitoring and an insulin-injecting regimen for the rest of their lives.

There are said to be two immune cells that are critically involved in most autoimmune disease: B cells, which make antibodies, and T cells, which kill cells infected with microbes or other invaders. In Type 1 diabetes, B cells start to see insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas as "the enemy", and recruit T cells to kill these cells.

Now, an international team, led by Lewis Cox and Pablo Silveira of Sydney?s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, has identified two chromosomal regions that control the ability of beta cell reactive B cells to interact with T cells, and determine whether or not Type 1 diabetes develops.

The study on mice has been published in `The European Journal of Immunology`.


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