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Targeting Type 1 Diabetes



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Targeting Type 1 Diabetes

A research team at the Yale School of Medicine has identified insulin proteins as the targets of diabetes-causing immune cells.

“This is the first time that the target of CD8 cells that cause Type 1 diabetes has been recognized,” said Yale research scientist F. Susan Wong, one of the team’s co-investigators.

“Now that we know that insulin is an important autoantigenic target, we can use this knowledge to find out how to prevent the attacks,” she said.

Type 1 diabetes, which affects mostly children, is not considered hereditary. Many researchers believe that it is triggered by as yet unidentified environmental conditions. 

The team’s findings should make it easier to identify the influences that allow the emergence of autoreactive clones, which cause the disease by attacking the body’s own proteins, said Ms Wong.

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