Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene therapy stimulates protein that blocks immune attack and prevents type 1 diabetes in mice

Date:
July 7, 2011
Source:
Child & Family Research Institute
Summary:
Increasing a specific protein in areas of the pancreas that produce insulin blocks the immune attack that causes type 1 diabetes, researchers report.

Increasing a specific protein in areas of the pancreas that produce insulin blocks the immune attack that causes type 1 diabetes, researchers reported in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, published early online.

Related Articles


The discovery could lead to a drug that prevents the progression of type 1 diabetes in people newly diagnosed who are in the "honeymoon" phase of the disease, when the immune system has not yet destroyed all of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

The finding could also lead to new drugs for overcoming organ rejection in transplant patients and for improving the survival of transplanted islets -- the clusters of cells in the pancreas that contain beta cells.

Normally, as the immune system successfully defeats an infection, a special type of white blood cell called T-regulatory cells produce chemical signals that turn off the immune response.

The researchers took advantage of this phenomenon as they sought to protect the beta cells from immune attack.

They used a modified virus to insert the gene for a protein called CCL22 into the beta cells of a strain of mice known to develop diabetes. The gene caused the beta cells to produce the CCL22 protein. This attracted T-regulatory cells, which blocked the attacking immune cells and prevented most of the mice from developing type 1 diabetes.

CCL22 was discovered years ago by ovarian cancer researchers who noticed that tumours emit the protein to avoid being destroyed by the immune system.

"It's a novel way to turn down the immune system specifically in the region of the beta cells inside the pancreas, and that may be a big advantage over general immune suppression, which can have significant side effects," says Dr. Bruce Verchere, one of the study's principal investigators. He is head of the diabetes research program at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) at BC Children's Hospital, Irving K Barber Chair in Diabetes Research, and professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

The study's co-lead author Dr. Joel Montane says more research is needed before the findings can be used clinically.

"Next, we need to better understand the mechanism," says Dr. Montane, a UBC post-doctoral fellow at CFRI. "We don't know exactly how CCL22 attracts T-regulatory cells to inhibit the immune response. Once we understand that, it may lead to a drug that can prevent or reverse diabetes."

"The research points to CCL22, or a modified form of it, as a potential drug to control the immune response," says Dr. Loraine Bischoff, the co-lead author. "Our strategy might also be used in other autoimmune disorders and in transplantation. The issue is how to administer it to humans. It's exciting because there are presently clinical trials using T-regulatory cells to prevent autoimmune disease."

A team of CFRI-UBC scientists, including co-principal investigator Dr. Rusung Tan, worked on this discovery.

This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

The Diabetes Research Program at CFRI is supported by BC Children's Hospital Foundation and the Canucks for Kids Fund.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Child & Family Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joel Montane, Loraine Bischoff, Galina Soukhatcheva, Derek L. Dai, Gijs Hardenberg, Megan K. Levings, Paul C. Orban, Timothy J. Kieffer, Rusung Tan, C. Bruce Verchere. Prevention of murine autoimmune diabetes by CCL22-mediated Treg recruitment to the pancreatic islets. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; DOI: 10.1172/JCI43048

Cite This Page:

Child & Family Research Institute. "Gene therapy stimulates protein that blocks immune attack and prevents type 1 diabetes in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706093936.htm>.
Child & Family Research Institute. (2011, July 7). Gene therapy stimulates protein that blocks immune attack and prevents type 1 diabetes in mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706093936.htm
Child & Family Research Institute. "Gene therapy stimulates protein that blocks immune attack and prevents type 1 diabetes in mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706093936.htm (accessed April 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) A meningitis outbreak in Niger has killed 85 people since the start of the year prompting authorities to close schools in the capital Niamey until Monday. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
C-Section Births a Trend in Brazil

C-Section Births a Trend in Brazil

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) More than half of Brazil&apos;s babies are born via cesarean section, as mothers and doctors opt for a faster and less painful experience despite the health risks. Duration: 02:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 24, 2015) The world&apos;s first anti-malaria vaccine could get the go-ahead for use in Africa from October if approved by international regulators. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) Developers of 3D food printing hope the culinary technology will revolutionize the way we cook and eat. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins