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ADA: Advance Paves Way for Early Type 1 Diabetes Test

Patient cells express different profiles when cultured in glutamic acid decarboxylase 65

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- An innovative analysis involving glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65), a protein associated with type 1 diabetes, may help pave the way for a blood test that identifies the disease in its early stages, according to research presented this week at the American Diabetes Association's 68th Annual Scientific Sessions in San Francisco.

David Leslie, M.D., of St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London, U.K., and colleagues isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 21 patients with established type 1 diabetes and 24 controls, and cultured the cells with either intact GAD65 or GAD65 linked to the Ii-Key fragment, which is known to enhance presentation and binding of antigenic peptides directly to MHC Class II receptors on the cell surface. They analyzed the cells for release of two cytokines associated with T cell activation: interferon gamma and interleukin-10.

Compared to controls, the researchers found that diabetic subjects had a significantly greater interferon response to whole GAD65 and to GAD65 Ii-Key peptides. They also found that there were no significant group differences in interleukin-10 responses.

"The results show that Ii-Key/GAD65 hybrids produce a similar response from T cells as does the GAD65 protein," Leslie said in a statement. "The cytokine expression profile we observe is helpful from a diagnostic perspective and gives hope that Ii-Key/GAD65 hybrids may have utility as agents to suppress autoimmunity."

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