Experts hope a new finding from the Yale School of Medicine can translate theory into the therapies we all desire to prevent and cure type 1 diabetes and its all-too-common complications.
Type 1 diabetes develops when an overactive immune system knocks out insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas and sends blood sugars soaring. Early results suggest that infusions of the drug teplizumab avert the misguided attacks and can help prevent type 1 or throw it into remission. But no one knew how the therapy might work—until now.
The Yale report, which appears in Science Translational Medicine and was partially funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, reveals that teplizumab (also called anti-CD3) activates the immune system’s T cells and triggers a specific chain of events to protect insulin production.
“In the new study, we address the way this investigational drug works on human cells in a mouse model,” said co-author Richard A. Flavell, professor of immunobiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “The results are exciting and predictive of how this compound would work in people.”
Click here for more about teplizumab research from Diabetes TrialNet, an international network of researchers that conducts studies for people with type 1 diabetes and their at-risk relatives.