Diabetes National Institute is first and foremost a growing campaign against diabetes and a community effort to enrich the lives of people with diabetes. Our mission is to provide free services and create a warm and supportive atmosphere where people with diabetes, their families, and the public can engage, learn, and build a greater understanding of diabetes.
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There is no treatment to cure diabetes. That is why at Diabetes National Institute, we support research that is targeted toward finding a cure for diabetes. Research is being done to find a medication to reverse and prevent the immunologic destruction of insulin producing cells which in turn cause diabetes.
ABSTRACT Cyclosporin and methotrexate administration induces remission of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Administration of high-dose cyclosporin (cyclo) has been demonstrated to induce remission of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D). Its usefulness was limited by its toxicity. Since methotrexate (mtx) and cyclo synergistically inhibit autoimmune processes, we postulated that low doses of cyclo and mtx could safely induce remission of T1D. In a pilot study, insulin dose requirements and glycemic control were compared in 10 new onset T1D control children with seven children who were administered cyclo at 7.5 mg/kg/day for 6 weeks and then 4 mg/kg/day in addition to mtx 5 mg/kg/wk for 1 year. After 6 weeks, cyclo doses were adjusted to maintain blood cyclo levels 110–220 ng/ml. All children were treated with two daily injections of insulin. Clinical and biochemical toxicity of drug therapy was assessed. There were only very minor adverse effects and no drug induced biochemical test abnormalities. Mean HbA1c levels were similar in the experimental and control groups at baseline and at 3, 6, and 9 months but was lower in the cyclo + mtx group at 12 months. Daily insulin requirements of the groups were similar at baseline but lower in the cyclo + mtx group at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Although no control subjects became non-insulin requiring, four of seven cyclo + mtx-treated subjects were entirely off insulin therapy for 2.5, 4.5, 8, and 12 months. Low-dose cyclo and mtx treatment of subjects with new onset T1D can safely induce remission of disease and decrease the amount of required insulin.
ABSTRACT Type 1 diabetes results from the loss of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells following the action of beta-cell-specific autoimmune responses. One possible treatment for type 1 diabetes is the development of beta-cell substitutes by introducing an insulin-producing gene into non-beta cells, which would evade the beta-cell-specific autoimmune attack. However, this approach has been hampered by the absence of (1) an appropriate glucose-sensing system to regulate insulin gene transcription; (2) enzymes that process proinsulin to insulin; and (3) glucose-regulatable exocytosis in the target cells. Recent attempts to solve these problems have sought new methods for effective gene transfer and have addressed issues such as the expression and release of insulin in response to the physiological stimulus of glucose, the production of biologically active insulin, and the selection of an ideal target cell for the expression of the insulin gene.
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder characterized by the destruction of the body' insulin producing cells (islets) by the body's own immune system. One method to cure Diabetes would be to transplant normal islets to people with diabetes. However, transplanted islets are eventually rejfected by the body. High dose immmunotherapy only temporarily inhibits rejection and may cause significant side effects. This research hypothesizes that administrating very small amounts of immunotherapy directly to the transplanted tissue could safely inhibit the rejection of islets. This form of therapy could lay the foundation to a safe cure of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus through islet transplantation. Using a mouse model, this study will determine if very low doses fo mimmunotherapy can protect them from the immune destruction and rejection and allow transplanted cells to survive and function better.