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New studies of type 1 diabetes: study oligonucleotides and immune response

March 9, 2017 12:43

diabetes10/21/2016 18:30

In type 1 diabetes the body attacks its own cells producing insulin. Scientists of the Helmholtz Center in Munich, reported in «PNAS» Journal of the mechanism used by the immune system to prepare for the attack.

Type 1 diabetes - an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys its own beta-cells of the pancreas. Researchers are still trying to figure out what causes the "failure" of the immune system for therapeutic processes. A team of scientists led by Dr. Caroline Daniel, group leader at the Institute for Diabetes Research of the Helmholtz Center Munich, has found another piece of the puzzle.

"For the first time we have shown that an increasing number of child victims of specific immune cells that are found in the blood at the beginning of the autoimmune response," - said Daniel. Experts previously analyzed blood samples from children in a biobank established by Professor Anette-Gabriele Ziegler in large-scale studies.

According to the authors, these special immune cells are so-called non-insulin-specific T follicular helper (TFH). They appear in the lymph nodes to other organs, as well as initiate the attack of the immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies by B cells. Now scientists have found a large number of these cells in samples of children with early-stage type 1 diabetes.

In search of the causes of increasing the TFH cells during autoimmune activation in children, scientists have discovered a previously unknown signaling pathway. "Analysis showed that miRNA92a molecule triggers a molecular chain, which ultimately leads to an increase of immune cells - said Postgraduate Isabelle Serre explaining complex mechanism -. MiRNA92a During this process prevents the formation of important signaling proteins, such as KLF2 and PTEN».

The use in therapy and diagnosis

To test whether this mechanism for therapeutic intervention, the researchers examined the effect of antagomira, an oligonucleotide that binds to miRNA92a molecules and blocking their action. In an experimental model of type 1 diabetes is the treatment resulted in a significant reduction in the autoimmune response.

"Targeted inhibition miRNA92a or descending signal pathway will open up new possibilities for the prevention of type 1 diabetes, - said Professor Ziegler -. In addition, TFH cells can serve as a biomarker for determining whether the successfully being treated."

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