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[IP] Re: Islet cells

i heard a program on NPR's talk of the nation science friday last summer that addressed research
for a potential cure. they were doing it at some university in massachusetts, (might have been
harvard but i'm not sure) where they were trying to suppress the autoimmune reaction in type-1
diabetic mice with some drug that apparently is already in use for something else. when they got
the autoimmune reaction to stop, they were shocked to find that the diabetes resolved itself in
the mice spontaneously. apparently what happened was that latent stem cells floating around in the
mice's bodies spontaneously regenerated islet cells and started producing insulin. what i want to
know is will they ever need any human guinea pigs? because if they do i am THERE, man =)

 i got a transcript of the program but i am not sure where it is now, but if anyone wants to look
into it it was "talk of the nation science friday" broadcast on july 24, 2001. if you find any
more info on that study let me know.

becky =) (dx'd 1/24/92 at age 10, pumping since 11/21/01)

> I need to comment about this article from The Globe.  It talks about
> the beta cells, or islet cells and how to 'grow' new ones or figure
> out how they turn on and off....something like that.  Anyway, is
> that really the key to diabetes?  I mean, my understanding is that
> this is an auto-immune system where the body's own immune system has
> arbitrarily decided to attack its own islett cells thus shutting
> them down and thus the need for external resources of insulin. 
> Well, wouldn't the key factor for this be then to figure out WHY the
> body chose the islett cells to attack, and how to stop the immune
> system from attacking its own body parts.

They're working on that too. There's a vaccine trial ... I think in 
Israel ... that addresses this issue. As I understand it, a type one 
that has been diabetic for many years stops making the antibodies 
after a while and so is eligible for vaccine therapy IF there were a 
way to restore islet function. The big question for me is whether 
this can be accomplished without immune suppression drugs. When they 
achieve three things, there will be a true cure.
1) regenerate islets
2) do 1 with tissue the body will accept completely
3) suppress the body's urge to kill the islet cells by turning OFF 
the appropriate T cell response.


>  It would not matter whose
> cells were in your body (ie; cell transplant or cloned cells) if the
> autoimmune system is whacked out then those cells are not any safer
> than the ones you were born with, right????  Or am I missing
> something.  I think the key is figuring out the immune system and
> how to stop it from attacking ANY cells!!!!

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