IL-35 protein could be used to treat type 1 diabetes
A new protein could be used to treat type 1 diabetes, according to new research.
The study, conducted by researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, found that administering the protein IL-35 to a group of diabetic mice lowered their blood glucose to non-diabetic levels.
IL-35 is an anti-inflammatory protein, levels of which are lower in people with type 1 diabetes, the researchers observed. They went on to examine the role of IL-35 in the function of type 1 diabetes.
The researchers injected a group of mice with a chemical compound called strepozotocin. The mice developed type 1 diabetes as a result. Then, after being left to develop high blood sugars, the mice were injected with IL-35. Within two days, their blood sugars were in the non-diabetic range.
Another test was conducted on a model of type 1 diabetes called a non-obese diabetic mouse model. After being treated with IL-35, type 1 diabetes did not return in any of the mouse models.
Although promising, the research is preliminary; there is no guarantee that what works for mice will work for humans. Further studies will be needed to determine its efficacy in human models.
But the research is promising, and the researchers are optimistic that IL-35 could lead to more effective treatments for type 1 diabetes. They believe that further investigations into IL-35 treatment could reveal why regulatory T cells in the immune system do not prevent the development of type 1 diabetes.
“To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to show that IL-35 can reverse established type 1 diabetes in two different mouse models and that the concentration of the particular cytokine is lower in type 1 diabetes patients than in healthy individuals,” said Dr. Kailash Singh, a PhD student at Uppsala University.
“Also, we are providing an insight into a novel mechanism: how immune regulatory T cells change their fate under autoimmune conditions.”
The findings were published in the open access journal Scientific Reports.
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