Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but usually appears before the age of 40 years, particularly in childhood. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels as the pancreas does not produce any insulin. A new study has revealed that patients with type 1 diabetes have significantly lower blood levels of four proteins, which helps in protecting their tissue from attack by their immune system. The study findings point toward a sort of protein cocktail that could help at-risk children avoid disease development as well as new biomarkers in the blood that could aid disease diagnosis, prognosis and management.
Dr. Jin-Xiong She, professor at the Medical College of Georgia, said, "The patient's first-degree relatives, who share some of the high-risk genes but do not have the disease, have high levels of these proteins circulating in their blood."
Author Sharad Purohit said, "Individuals who have three of the known high-risk genes for type 1 diabetes but high serum levels of these four proteins were less likely to have disease, suggesting that these proteins may provide dominant levels of protection against type 1 diabetes even in a genetically high-risk group."
The research team claim that cytokines and chemokines could promote or inhibit inflammation and cytokines such as MIP-1beta can do both and the proper mix help keep inflammation in check. Dr. She said, "We were providing evidence that clinical trials with any of these four molecules may work and if we used them in combination, they may work even better."
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.