According to Hawal Shirvan, professor of child health and molecular microbiology and immunology at the California State University School of Medicine, people with type 1 diabetes can have their immune systems malfunction, causing “self-attacks.”
Doctors have targeted a mechanism called apoptosis, which destroys rogue immune cells that cause diabetes or rejection of transplanted pancreatic islets, by attaching a molecule called FasL to the surface of the islets.
“ A type of apoptosis occurs when a molecule called FasL interacts with another molecule called Fas on rogue immune cells and this causes them to die ,” said one of the study authors. “ So our team pioneered the technology to produce a new form of FasL and present it on transplanted pancreatic islet cells or microgels to prevent rogue cell rejection. After transplantation of insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells, rogue cells are mobilized to the graft for killing, but are killed by FasL binding Fas on their surface . ”
One of the advantages of the new method is the ability to potentially eliminate lifelong use of immunosuppressive drugs that interfere with the ability of the immune system to seek out and destroy a foreign object when it is introduced into the body, for example, during an organ or, in this case, cell transplant.
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