Type 1 Diabetic Mice 'Cured' -- Humans next?
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 18:15 GMT

Type 1 Diabetic Mice 'Cured'
with mixture of 4 drugs
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US scientists have managed to rid diabetic
mice of the effects of the disease using a
cocktail of drugs.

The mice, who had type 1 diabetes, started
producing their own insulin after taking a
mixture of four drugs.

Previously the same team at Harvard Uni-
versity had only been able to stop the destruc-
tion of the cells which make insulin, not regen-
erate them.

But in a study reported in the New Scientist,
they say adding another drug to the original
cocktail did just that.

They now hope to start trials in humans.


However, when they added an extra ingredient
 - an enzyme called alpha 1 anti-trypsin -
a significant rise in the number of beta cells
was seen.

It is thought this extra drug may ease the inflam-
mation of pancreas, a key feature of the disease.

"It would appear that by altering the inflamma-
tory state that surrounds this autoimmune disease,
you can create an environment that enables expan-
sion of the beta cell mass," said Dr Strom.

"It is exciting that these drugs could stop the im-
mune system from attacking insulin-producing
cells, but it is too early to tell whether these cells
recovered in the mice or if new cells were pro-
duced." -Iain Frame, Diabetes UK

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