Research Team Delays Onset of Type 1 Diabetes in Mice


According to a recent study conducted by the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Michigan Medical School, certain immune B cells can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes in mice. When the specific type of B cells— CD19+IgM+ B cells—were transferred into mice, researchers noted a delay in the onset of the condition. These findings suggest that some types of B cells are involved with modulating type 1 diabetes onset, and contribute to a growing understanding of the role the immune system plays in type 1 diabetes.

420 million people worldwide are affected by the autoimmune disease, but the underlying causes remain poorly understood. New therapies utilizing this specific type of B cell for type 1 diabetes (T1D) could be developed as a result of these findings, leading researchers closer to a potential treatment for prevention of the disease.

“For many years, one of the research interests of my lab has been to better understand the role the immune system plays in type 1 diabetes,” explained Dr. Massimo Pietropaolo, professor of medicine-endocrinology and McNair Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine.

Pietropaolo’s team is the first to describe these particular B cells having a strong regulatory effect that delays diabetes in mice. The results seem to be age-specific, as his team noted that the cells caused a delay in six-week-old mice, but not in those older than 15 weeks.

In contrast to these findings, other studies have shown that different subsets of B cells can actually contribute to the development of type 1 diabetes. This research is the first identifying this specific subset of B cells and showing prevention of type 1 diabetes in mice.

This research supports a growing understanding of the complex interactions between cell types in our own immune systems. It also underscores the power of type 1 diabetes prevention as an area for exciting future innovation. Read more about research on T1D prevention here.

Read the full study here.

WRITTEN BY Jordan Dakin, POSTED 12/12/18, UPDATED 11/05/22

Jordan recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles after earning her BA in English and Film Studies. She is a passionate storyteller, traveler and lover of people and hopes to use her experience working in tech and as a writer to advocate for the BT1 community. In her spare time, she also enjoys hiking, karaoke and cooking for friends. Check her out on Instagram: @jordanemilydakin.