DZD scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München are exploring new strategies to prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes. They have shown in a preclinical model that specifically modified insulin mimetopes may lead to an immune tolerance.
Dr. Carolin Daniel and colleagues investigated the effect of specifically modified insulin mimetopes on the immune system. Previous studies had shown that insulin mimetopes were significantly more efficient in inducing a tolerance through regulatory T cells towards insulin than their natural counterparts (epitopes). In young mice, the induction of insulin mimetopes at low doses completely halted the development of type 1 diabetes.
The next step was achieved in the study that has just been published: In a so-called humanized mouse model, whose immune system is very similar to that of humans, the scientists were able to confirm the results. In the long term the scientists want to further develop the method for preventive treatment of children at high risk for type 1 diabetes and to test the new therapy clinically.
Serr I, Fürst RW, Achenbach P, Scherm MG, Gökmen F, Haupt F, Sedlmeier EM, Knopff A, Shultz L, Willis RA, Ziegler AG, Daniel C. Type 1 diabetes vaccine candidates promote human Foxp3(+)Treg induction in humanized mice. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10991. Nature Communications. March 15, 2016
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