News / Health

Scientists Develop Mouse With Human Diabetes

Scientists Develop Mouse With Human Diabetes
Scientists Develop Mouse With Human Diabetes

Scientists for the first time have successfully bred mice with a human form of juvenile diabetes. The breakthrough could speed the  development of treatments for the disease, which typically afflicts children and teenagers and can significantly shorten their lives.

Juvenile, or type I, diabetes affects approximately 10 percent of all diabetics. Survival requires strict adherence to a daily regimen of painful insulin hormone injections, and the disease can also cause multiple long-term complications, including blindness, heart disease and kidney failure.

Unlike the adult form of the disease, called Type II diabetes, in which the body stops using insulin properly to convert food sugars into energy, type I diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. The body’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells within the pancreas that make insulin.

Until now, scientists trying to develop drugs to calm the immune system of those with juvenile diabetes have had to work with laboratory mice with only a rodent version of the disease - not an ideal situation, say experts, because treatments that might work in mice can be ineffective or harmful in humans.

Matthias G. von Herrath, M.D., Director of the Center for Diabetes Research in California
Matthias G. von Herrath, M.D., Director of the Center for Diabetes Research in California

But Matthias von Herrath, director of the Center for Diabetes Research in California, says having a rodent with human diabetes should speed the development of drugs for type I diabetes.

"You don’t want to put it in humans if you can avoid it, if it’s not a good molecule or not a good drug," he said. "And this mouse allows you to test the real drug, not to make an equivalent that only works in the mouse."

French and British researchers developed the laboratory mouse with human diabetes and they were able to arrest the immune system’s assault on the animal’s beta cells using a human version of an antibody called anti-CD3.

Anti-CD3 is currently undergoing clinical trials as a promising therapy for type I diabetes.  Von Herrath says the antibody does two things:

"They [it] not only take away the cells that are destroying the islets in type I diabetes, at least temporarily, but also they foster what you would call immune regulations - they train your body’s own immune system to regulate better and prevent diseases like type I diabetes," he said.

Von Herrath says the results of the human trials won’t be known for several more months.

A mice model of juvenile diabetes is useful for more than just drug development. Von Herrath says it can help researchers determine proper dosing of medications for diabetics. He says the diabetic mouse could also help researchers identify biological markers indicating when someone is at risk for developing the disease.

An article describing the development of a mouse model with human type I diabetes, and a commentary by Matthias von Herrath, are published this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

You May Like

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Phone, Internet Surveillance

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.