Immunological Cures for Diabetes Mellitus Type 1

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The focus for finding an immunological cure for diabetes mellitus type 1 should be directed to prevent maturation or cause inactivation of autoreactive T cells to halt the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells. Inactivation of the autoreactive T cells can be accomplished in two ways. First, antigen presenting cells, such as dendritic cells, that present auto antigens can be modified to prevent maturation or expression of co-stimulatory receptor. Secondly, the T cell can remain in the naïve state or be inactivated after activation by an antigen presenting cell. Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is categorized into type 1, insulin dependent, and type 2, insulin resistant, and the focus will be on the former. Type 1diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease occurring when insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed by autoreactive CD8 T cells.1 Beta cells are endocrine cells that only secrete insulin and are found in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. When the first clinical symptoms of diabetes are apparent in a patient, 80% of the beta cells have already been destroyed.1When large amounts of beta cells are destroyed, it only leaves a fraction of insulin left for the body to utilize, which is often not enough to support function. Type 1 diabetes affects an estimated 30 million people worldwide.1 There is no cure for type 1 diabetes and someone with this disease would need to monitor their blood glucose levels and manually give themselves insulin injections to regulate those levels. However, using insulin injections is not a cure. In type 1 diabetes the antigen presenting cells present beta cell auto antigens to CD4 T cells.2 The activated autoreactive CD4 T cells then produce the cytokine IL-2 which in turn a... ... middle of paper ... ...:4-13. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 19, 2013. 4. Phillips B, Trucco M. Immunotherapy-based strategies for the treatment of autoimmune diabetes: searching for the cure. Current Pharmaceutical Design [serial online]. 2011;17(29):3217-3223. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 19, 2013. 5. Roep B. The role of T-cells in the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes: from cause to cure. Diabetologia [serial online]. March 2003;46(3):305-321. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 19, 2013. 6. Claiborn K, Stoffers D. Toward a cell-based cure for diabetes: advances in production and transplant of beta cells. The Mount Sinai Journal Of Medicine, New York [serial online]. August 2008;75(4):362-371. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 19, 2013.

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