Early 2011 witnessed a team claiming to have formulated a treatment for type 1 diabetes. As another critical finding on this front, scientists from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology have discovered a specific immune system T cell that apparently paves the path to type 1 diabetes in the pancreas.
The team stumbled upon the CD8 T cells, which they believe played an important role in the advancement of type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, the scientists also located the areas that spur T cell attack on beta cells. Locating the molecules that the T cells work against is vital for developing drugs that restore the immune system’s balance, they asserted.
“Mice represent an excellent model for disease, but eventually it is important to confirm in human tissues the things that you learn in mice. The use of this tissue from the nPOD consortium was critical to our ability to prove which T cells are most important in destroying beta cells in humans, which leads to type 1 diabetes, and where these cells are located in the pancreas,” commented Matthias von Herrath, M.D, senior author.
These findings were earlier related to mice specimens, but this research highlights the same observations in human pancreas tissues. The CD8 T cells are apparently responsible for the demolition of beta cells in the pancreas. Thus, the beta cells presumably lose their capacity to generate insulin, which is the primary manifestation of type 1 diabetes.
Targeting the aforesaid T-cell could be a key point to impede the progression of the disease, the team believed. The research is published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.