An international team of researchers, led by Andalusians, has identified a new target and designed a new molecule capable of curbing, for the moment in mice, type 1 diabetes, a disease that appears when the individual's own immune system destroys its production cells. insulin in the pancreas.
Insulin helps glucose enter cells to give them energy; without insulin there is an excess of glucose in blood that can not be removed, which produces hyperglycemia, characteristic of diabetes.
This can cause different health problems, so this lack of insulin has to be neutralized by daily injection of this hormone in patients with type 1 diabetes.
The results of this research, which manages to regenerate insulin-producing cells, are published in an article in the journal Nature Communications, signed by scientists from the Andalusian Center for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine (Cabimer) in Seville and others. of the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (Ibima).
The current therapies for type 1 diabetes are focused on suppressing the immune attack or neutralizing the substances that promote inflammation, recall in their article those responsible for this research.
Therefore, they add, it is necessary to identify innovative strategies to attenuate the immune process, while promoting the survival and function of beta cells, which produce insulin.
This is precisely what this research team has achieved, identifying a new target susceptible to being attacked by a new drug to stop type 1 diabetes.
Specifically, scientists have found that if the nuclear receptor LHR-1 is activated with the newly created drug, the BL001 molecule, the immune response is improved and therefore the development of this type of diabetes is slowed down, explains Javier Efe. Bermúdez, researcher at the Ibima de Málaga and one of the authors of the work.