Human genes used in type 1 diabetes mouse research could improve search for a cure

Jack Woodfield
Tue, 19 Feb 2019
Human genes used in type 1 diabetes mouse research could improve search for a cure
The development and progression of type 1 diabetes has been successfully replicated in mice, which could help researchers understand more about the condition.

The study carried out by a US team involved adding human genes to the mice and looking at a series of T-cells that are found in the pancreas.

This new approach is pioneering because the mice also developed type 1 diabetes-related complications, which means the team can fully explore the condition and its natural progression in the animals.

Other research studies have involved trying to replicate type 1 diabetes in animals, but the outcomes have never mimicked the exact way a human develops the condition.

"Unfortunately, research has been inhibited because the scientific community didn't have a good model to study the disease and its progression. Now, we do. We have developed a mouse model that is a step forward toward finding a cure," said Dr Juan Jaume, professor of medicine at the University of Toledo's (UT) College of Medicine and Life Sciences and senior author of the research.

The team have filed a patent for their method and are now carrying out a more in-depth study to see how they can use their model to develop future prevention therapies and whether it can be applied to other conditions such as cancer.

Dr Jaume added: "The existing non-obese diabetic mouse model does not completely resemble the human condition. There are more than 125 different therapies that cure type 1 diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Clinical trials were developed because of that model, but none have worked in humans. Everybody has been searching for a better model."

The findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.
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