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UVa Health System team uncovers gene's role in type 1 diabetes
Date:11/7/2007

white blood cells. While white blood cells normally help to fight off infections, they can cause damage over time when they infiltrate the islet cells of the pancreas.

Our findings have two practical implications, said co-author Marcia McDuffie, professor of Microbiology at UVa. First, they help us to understand the complicated process that produces self-destructive white blood cells. This knowledge may be useful in predicting which children may be at risk for developing Type 1 diabetes before significant damage has occurred in the islets. Second, we may be able to design drugs targeting this enzyme that may help to prevent Type 1 diabetes in people at risk for the disease and also to prevent recurrence of disease in transplanted islets.

Type 1 diabetes requires insulin injections, because the body cannot produce insulin on its own.


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Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mjgore@virginia.edu
434-924-9241
University of Virginia Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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