Study: New DNA Vaccine Shuts Down Immune Cells that Cause Type 1 Diabetes
July 1, 2013 5:05 PM
comment(s) - last by
It leaves the rest of the immune system alone, though
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease, but researchers at Stanford University are hoping to eliminate the effects of the disease -- and eventually cure it -- with a new vaccine.
Researchers from the Stanford School of Medicine -- led by Lawrence Steinman, MD, professor of pediatrics and of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford -- have created a DNA vaccine that fights
type 1 diabetes
by targeting only a certain population of cells in the immune system without destroying the whole thing.
The vaccine consists of an altered piece of DNA, which holds the proinsulin gene. Beta cells, which are the only cells that make insulin in the body, start out as proinsulin precursor proteins. The beta cells, like all cells, display small pieces of the proteins they make on their surfaces called peptides, and the proinsulin peptides on the surface of beta cells cause misdirected CD8 cells (which are immune cells that patrol the cell surfaces for foreign peptides) to attack the beta cells.
The new DNA vaccine seeks out CD8 cells
targeting proinsulin; not all CD8 cells. If the vaccine had shut down the normal behavior of all CD8 cells, it would interfere with the patient's immune system and stop their bodies from being able to fight off infections and serious issues like cancer. Hence, shutting the whole system down isn't a better option.
That's why the vaccine only targets proinsulin-attacking CD8 cells and stops them from destroying beta cells while leaving everything else alone.
To test the vaccine, the research team recruited 80 type 1 diabetic patients that
required insulin therapy
. They divided the patients into five different groups, where four received different doses of the vaccine and one received a placebo.
Over the course of 12 weeks, the researchers measured levels of C-peptide in the patients, which is a piece of proinsulin that is cut off when insulin is pulled out of the proinsulin molecule. C-peptide is thought to fight off diabetic complications, such as eye and kidney damage.
The team checked the C-peptide levels before they began, then at five and 15 weeks, and then six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months after starting on the vaccination. During these checks, blood was drawn 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after patients drank a modified milkshake.
According to results, levels of proinsulin-targeting CD8 cells were significantly depleted in patients who received the vaccine, compared with those getting placebo. However, other CD8 cells remained intact and left alone. Patients on the vaccine either had the same C-peptide levels or even increased levels, which would help them fight off diabetic complications later in life.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/2/2013 8:44:27 PM
Actually, they will. It's trivial to stimulate the beta cells to regrow. Taking an OTC stomach aide called Prevacid will cause other cells in your pancreas that haven't been killed to differentiate into beta cells. It's also hypothesized that not all of them even die.
The tricky part is stopping the body from killing _those_.
"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
Gene Therapy Controls, Cures Type 1 Diabetes in Dogs
February 11, 2013, 1:59 PM
Artificial Pancreas Improves Glucose Control by 15%, Benefits Type 1 Diabetes Patients
January 30, 2013, 5:55 PM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information