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Taking the needle's sting out of diabetes
Date:8/10/2009

T cells are the immune system's "soldiers" that fight off infection and disease. In her studies in the lab, when Mor blocked Ras using the FTS drug, she was able to increase the Foxp3 protein which gave a boost to the all-important T cells.

Slowing diabetes to a crawl

Mor then theorized that if the amount of regulatory T cells in the body was increased, the progression of diabetes would diminish. "My aim was to slow down diabetes, which brings a suitcase of side-effects like circulatory problems that lead to blindness and amputations," she says.

In her recent study, Mor treated pre-diabetic mice for six months. One group was given FTS, another was given no drug at all. The outcome was dramatic. Only 16% of the treated group developed diabetes, while 82% of the untreated group became diabetic. Also, insulin production from beta cells in the treated group of mice increased in comparison to insulin production in the non-treated group, she reports.

"Diabetes is my main concern," Mor concludes. "So many children and adults continue to suffer from the disorder. Since the FTS molecule is very easily absorbed into the blood, it could be the first diabetes treatment in pill form to moderate insulin production in juvenile diabetes, slowing down the progression of the disease. It could help a lot of people."


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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