Immunology of Diabetes Society: the take-away of May 25th, 2023.
Pancreas in the air! In the arrest of type 1 diabetes (T1D), viral suspects are being kept in check by researchers at the Immunology of Diabetes Society this May 25. Extra bolus, a detour via cancer.
Type 1 diabetes and cancer share the same cell.
From the point of view of immunity, T1D and cancer have two opposite operating modes. In the former, T cells attack beta cells; in the latter, T cells weaken and are unable to disable cancerous tumors.
In video: immunologist Andrea Schietinger explains how the autoimmune cells of T1D provide a better understanding of cancer autoimmunity. Even in illness, you have to share the cell.
Pandemic Covid-19 charged with triggering autoimmunity.
If H1N1 flu or coxsackievirus CVB4 have a potential link with the development of pancreatic autoimmunity, it seems that covid-19 could be added to the list of suspects.
During the pandemic, a study involving over 1,000 young children genetically at risk of developing T1D confirmed the important role played by these viruses. Elaborating on this study, Marija Lugar, from the Technical University of Dresden, points out that the pandemic was characterized by "a sharp decline in the most common viral infections", which were replaced by SARS-CoV-2. However, this replacement did not lead to a reduction in the proportion of cases of autoimmunity or diagnosis of T1D. In fact, these were more common in the children participating in the one-and-a-half-year study. This supported the hypothesis that viruses found in the islets of Langerhans increase the risk of triggering pancreatic autoimmunity.
Enterovirus: a vaccine for conditional freedom from type 1 diabetes?
Widely found in pancreatic islets, enteroviruses are among the most common viruses, but also among the most likely triggers of autoimmunity harmful to insulin-producing cells. If they're all suspect, it's worth knowing which of the many varieties of these viruses are the real culprits behind autoimmunity.
This is what a team from the University of Tampere in Finland has been working on. The aim is clear: knowing the exact identity of the virus would make it possible to develop a vaccine that could not only prevent infection, but also potentially prevent the onset of autoimmunity and the diagnosis of diabetes.
After studying numerous samples, the findings suggest that type B enteroviruses are most frequently found in pancreatic cells. Could we have a winner? To find out, we still need "to better understand the mechanisms underlying the relationship between these enteroviruses and beta cell destruction", explains researcher Jutta Laiho, who presented her study today.