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Cure of Type 1 Diabetes by Autoimmune Antigen Vaccination.

The researcher Dr. Roland S. Liblau of INSERM at the Purpan University Hospital in Toulouse and the doctors Kirsten Falk and Olaf Rötzschke of the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDG) Berlin-Buch have published that a cure of Type 1 diabetes by autoimmune antigen vaccination is possible in principle.

Their work is now published online in the American Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienses (PNAS).

It is generally accepted as a result of research that the Type 1 diabetes is a so-called auto-immune disease.

What is an autoimmune disease?

An autoimmune disease has nothing to do with an automobile that you can drive around, but is derived from the original meaning of auto, which means by itself.

An auto-mobile was named after its invention as a self-drive carriage, because it is a horseless carriage, that moves by itself without having to pull it. Thus an auto-immune disease is a disease of the immune system itself. Not a disease  of any organ, such as the pancreas.

The immune system itself is the cause for the disease
and attacks, because it is sick any harmless, healthy organs. In the example of  Type 1 diabetes, these are the beta cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin.

Researchers in Toulouse (France) and Berlin-Buch have healed Type 1 diabetes in mice by autoimmune antigen vaccination.

What is an autoimmune antigen vaccine?

Structures, which will activate the immune system or specific parts thereof are called antigens.

Researchers have artificially created the surface structures of beta cells. They prepared the antigen that triggers the autoimmune response.

The body of the mice created immune cells in such large amounts that the autoimmune reaction was overloaded.

This led to the collapse of the autoimmune reaction, but not - and this is the sensational on the way - not to the collapse of the entire immune system. It was caused only the breakdown of the part of the immune system that was responsible for the destruction of the beta cells.
The research was made in mice. Strains of mice with certain characteristics serve for decades in diabetes research as a model for type 1 diabetes.

Therefore the question is, leads a supply of man-made body's own antigens to the collapse of the autoimmune response?

To explain this, researchers use the term active immune tolerance.

What is passive and active tolerance?

Let's say you are in a group and in the group is a small green little men from planet Mars.
Passive tolerance would be that you do not mind if he is sitting next to you, but that it would not matter to you and you would do noting if someone else in the room would throw him out of the room.

Active tolerance would be that you call "Stop, he's one of us!", He has the right to be here, even though he is small and green.
Active immune tolerance means, that certain cells of the immune system are activated by the method described by researchers. So called T-suppressor cells

These T-suppressor cells inhibit that the T-helpher cells destroy the beta cells of the body.

So if you are in a meeting and prevent the exclusion of the little green men from planet mars, you act like a T-supressorcell actively tolerant.

The method has something fascinating in itself.  It also coincides with the findings of Dr. Faustman in the USA, which has also observed in mice, a complete regeneration of beta cells using immune modulation and transplantation of spleen cells.

It is known as for a long time that the cells of the pancreas are in a constant process of regeneration. They are rebuilt from stem cells.

This method also has the advantage that no donor organs that are only available in limited amount are needed for a possible transplantation. The for the treatment needed large quantities  of endogenous antigens can be produced without ethical problems.

The production of endogenous antigens for immunomodulation in Type 1 diabetes is a future technology that can lead to a  restitutio ad integrum (cure)of Type 1 diabetes.

Source: vaccination with type 1 diabetes - mice treated successfully. Barbara Bachtler Press and Public Relations
Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch 18.05.2007

With kind Regards
                       Hugo R. Vogel
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Disclaimer: This page serves to highlight opportunities how to get a life with diabetes under control. If you are looking for medical advice, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

© Hugo R. Vogel all rights reserved worldwide.