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[IP] interesting article on cause of type-1 diabetes

I have found the article below - are we closer to a cure?
see the web pointer at:

Cause of type-I diabetes found, researchers say

August 30, 1999
Web posted at: 5:01 p.m. EDT (2101 GMT)   

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Researchers said Monday they had confirmed that
type-I diabetes is triggered by the body's immune system turning on delicate
cells, and they said they had found the cause. 

The findings could lead to a type of vaccine against the disease that
affects more than 1 million Americans, said Susan Wong and colleagues at
Yale University School of Medicine. 

Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, Wong's team said they found an
antigen -- a protein that stimulates an immune response -- in mice specially
bred to develop what looks like human juvenile diabetes. 

There are two types of diabetes -- type-I, also known as juvenile diabetes,
and type-II, known as adult-onset diabetes. Type-II diabetes is far more
common and seems to be related to diet and a lack of exercise. 

Type-I diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks the pancreatic beta
cells that produce insulin for the body. People with type-I diabetes do not
produce enough insulin and must carefully monitor their blood sugar levels
and take insulin to control them. 

There is no cure and failure to control blood sugar levels can cause
blindness, limb loss and early death. 

Finding just what it is that causes the body to attack these cells could
help in the development of a cure. 

They said much more work needs to be done, but it seemed that the immune
system's T-cells attack an early form of insulin as it is produced by the

"This is the first report to our knowledge of the identification of an
antigen that can stimulate islet-reactive CD8 T-cells, and it is likely to
be a naturally processed peptide of preproinsulin," they wrote. 

In a commentary, Christopher Benoist and Diane Mathis of the Institute of
Genetics and Molecular Cellular Biology in Strasbourg called the findings
"clear and provocative." 

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