Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is an autoimmune disease in which T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cells) react against and destroy pancreatic islets, resulting in an absence of insulin. The cause of this disease is only partially understood and identifying novel mechanisms that lead to the disease could permit the design of new therapies. In this grant application we propose to test a unique hypothesis regarding T cell induced diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Our preliminary data suggest that the activity of the disease-inducing white blood cells is regulated by a cascade of proteins normally found in the serum called complement. Absence or blockade of this cascade seems to prevent diabetes in a mouse model and evidence suggests that the same might be true in humans. We will therefore use both mouse models of diabetes and peripheral blood cells from patients with diabetes to test the hypothesis that complement proteins regulate autoimmune, T cell mediated diabetes. If the hypothesis proves to be correct, it will support the design of therapies aimed at complement proteins or their receptors as a therapy for diabetes. Importantly, several of these reagents are already in the early stages of testing in humans for other diseases, raising the feasibility for this strategy in the context of T1DM.
|Effective start/end date||1/09/08 → 31/08/09|
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation United States of America: $110,000.00