The research also provided an important insight into the ability to translate these findings in mice into therapeutics for people with diabetes: nanoparticles that contained human diabetes-related molecules were able to restore normal blood sugar levels in a humanized mouse model of diabetes.
According to Teodora Staeva, Ph.D., JDRF Program Director of Immune Therapies, a key finding from the Alberta study is that only the immune cells specifically focused on aggressively destroying beta cells (or, alternatively, regulating these cells) responded to the antigen-specific nanoparticle vaccine. That means the treatment did not compromise the rest of the immune system a key consideration for the treatment to be safe and effective in an otherwise healthy person with type 1 diabetes. "The potential that nanoparticle vaccine therapy holds in reversing the immune attack without generally suppressing the immune system is significant," said Dr. Staeva. "Dr. Santamaria's research has provided both insight into pathways for developing new immunotherapies and proof-of-concept of a specific therapy that exploits these pathways for preventing and reversing type 1 diabetes."
Dr. Santamaria noted that the study had implications for other autoimmune diseases beyond type 1 diabetes. "If the paradigm on which this nanovaccine is based holds true in other chronic autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and others, nanovaccines might find general ap
|Contact: Joana Casas|
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International