Monday, 6 August 2007

Combo drug therapy reverses type 1 in mice

Filed under: , , , ,

Insulin resistance is associated with type 2 diabetes, but more recently it has been implicated in the development of type 1 as well. This mouse study used an experimental new combination therapy which simultaneously addressed both the autoimmune component and the inflammation related to insulin resistance to reverse the disease.

Study co-author Dr. Terry Strom, from Harvard Medical School, stated this is the first study to show inflammation in insulin sensitive tissues plays an important role in type 1.

Newly diabetic mice were given a mix of three substances to prevent a body's T-cells from destroying insulin-producing pancreatic cells, and stop inflammation which impaired the ability of muscle, fat and liver tissues from metabolizing insulin correctly. Mice were treated either 14 or 28 days, and within a short time, 95 percent realized normal blood sugars and were able to control their blood sugars for 300 days. Most of the untreated diabetic mice died within seven weeks, even when treated with insulin.

This study suggests stopping the development of type 1 in humans must address the autoimmune T-cell disorder and the loss of insulin responsiveness in tissues due to inflammation. Once a body starts losing insulin-generating beta cells, the cells that remain have to work even harder to control blood sugar. Dr. Strom stated human clinical trials will begin within a year. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

No comments: