Navigation Links
Scientists shed new light on link between 'killer cells' and diabetes
Date:1/15/2012

Killer T-cells in the human body which help protect us from disease can inadvertently destroy cells that produce insulin, new research has uncovered.

The study provides the first evidence of this mechanism in action and could offer new understanding of the cause of Type 1 diabetes.

Professor Andy Sewell, an expert in human T-cells from Cardiff University's School of Medicine worked alongside diabetes experts from King's College London to better understand the role of T-cells in the development of Type 1 diabetes.

The team isolated a T-cell from a patient with Type 1 diabetes to view a unique molecular interaction which results in the killing of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

"Type 1 diabetes is a result of the body's own immune system attacking and destroying the cells in the pancreas that manufacture the hormone insulin. Insulin controls blood sugar levels and a lack of insulin is fatal if untreated," said Professor Sewell.

"The mechanism by which the body attacks its own insulin producing cells in the pancreas is not fully understood. Our findings show how killer T-cells might play an important role in autoimmune diseases like diabetes and we've secured the first ever glimpse of the mechanism by which killer T-cells can attack our own body cells to cause disease," he added.

Co-author of the study, Professor Mark Peakman from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust said: "This first sight of how killer T-cells make contact with the cells that make insulin is very enlightening, and increases our understanding of how Type 1 diabetes may arise.

"This knowledge will be used in the future to help us predict who might get the disease and also to develop new approaches to prevent it. Our aim is to catch the disease early before too many insulin-producing cells have been damaged."

The team now hope that by gaining a better understanding of this process it will put them in a much stronger position to devise new ways to prevent or even halt the disease.

The study, funded by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) using facilities at Diamond Light Source and published in Nature Immunology, shows that the killer T-cell receptor utilises an abnormal mode of binding in order to recognise cells producing insulin.

"The results of Dr Sewell's work provide key novel insights into T1D pathogenesis" said Teodora Staeva, Director of JDRF's Immune Therapies Program. "JDRF is pleased to support this kind of research that will accelerate the development of biomarkers and preventive therapies for Type 1 diabetes."

This unusual binding is thought to allow the T-cell to survive the culling process designed to rid the body of autoreactive T-cells.

The structure of the killer T-cell receptor bound to the insulin peptide shows that the interaction is highly focused on just a small part of the molecule.

In a further study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry the same Cardiff and King's team has shown that this focused binding mode allows this T-cell receptor to respond to over 1.3 million other peptides of different molecular shape.

This ability to bind peptides with a multitude of different shapes may provide a clue as to how autoimmune diseases are initiated. It is possible that this T-cell was raised to fight an infection via one of the other 1.3 million peptides it can recognise but then inadvertently also recognised insulin once it had been put on 'red alert' by this infection.

Diabetes describes diseases where a person has high blood sugar. Treatment of diabetes and its complications represents a major health burden and accounts for over 10% of the National Health Service's annual budget.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy Sewell
sewellak@cardiff.ac.uk
44-292-068-7007
Cardiff University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
2. Scientists Discover How HIV Is Transmitted Between Men
3. Prevention Is Key Research Goal for Premature Babies, Scientists Say
4. Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway for Organ Tissue Regeneration and Repair
5. Scientists find donut-shaped structure of enzyme involved in energy metabolism
6. Neuroscientists reveal new links that regulate brain electrical activity
7. Two UCSF Scientists to Receive Prestigious Dementia Research Honor
8. Johns Hopkins scientists develop personalized blood tests for cancer using whole genome sequencing
9. Scientists Spot Genetic Fingerprints of Individual Cancers
10. Scientists Unravel Mysteries of Intelligence
11. MSU scientists develop more effective method of predicting lead-poisoning risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Each year, ... will be held in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. Almost 10,000 physical ... see new therapy products in action, learn more about their chosen field and network ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Coco Libre, the maker of ... Carpet Events LA GRAMMY’s Style Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer musicians and celebrities ... before the big event. The invitation-only gifting suite, held this year at the W ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Appleton, Wis. (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 ... ... its second Lean Leadership Series at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April ... to practice new behaviors and create new habits. The workshops cover a broad ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Every winter, someone is killed, injured or loses a home ... Center, part of the Allegheny Health Network, has partnered with Etna Volunteer Fire ... Need Space” campaign. , “Space Heaters Need Space” aims to bring awareness ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a locally owned ... charity drive that will raise funds earmarked to purchase computers and software for Mrs. ... , “My school is in a low-income area and has more than 60 2nd ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)...  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) today ... disodium) vitamin regimen patent would not presently be infringed by ... , Italy and ... with dextrose solution.  --> ... Appeal held that Lilly,s patent would be indirectly infringed by ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016 Indiso ltd ... ungedeckten medizinischen Bedarf bei Lungen- und Atemwegserkrankungen ... Forschungsprogramms bekannt. Das Programm, das sich mit ... respiratorischen Funktionen und anderer klinischer Parameter. ... das sich auf den ungedeckten medizinischen Bedarf ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Calif., Feb. 11, 2016 PRO-DEX, INC. (NasdaqCM: PDEX) ... ended December 31, 2015. The Company also filed its Quarterly ... year 2016 with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. ... 31, 2015 --> --> ... increased $2.6 million, or 95%, to $5.4 million from $2.8 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: