Exciting finding announced by JDRF-funded researcher
JDRF Canada salutes the recent discovery at the Child and Family Research Institute in British Columbia. JDRF-funded Researcher, Dr. Megan Levings has had her findings published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation
Researchers at BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia have found that special proteins called chemokines help keep our body’s defenses in check by preventing the immune system from mistakenly harming healthy tissue. This discovery may lead to new therapies that stop the unwanted immune attacks that cause disorders like type 1 diabetes (T1D) and multiple sclerosis or lead to life-threatening organ rejection in transplant patients.
Immune cells called regulatory T Cells (Tregs) usually prevent the immune attacks that cause type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions. However, scientists know relatively little about how Tregs work and why they sometimes fail to do their job. Previous research has shown chemokines draw immune cells to sites of inflammation so the cells can attack pathogens and other dangerous substances. This is the first study to reveal chemokines also help prevent the immune system from harming healthy tissue.
“This discovery will help us learn more about what immune pathways need to be ‘fixed’ to slow, stop or prevent the harmful immune responses that lead to autoimmune disorders, in particular, T1D. This is an exciting finding because it describes an unexpected way that the immune system regulates itself,” says Dr. Levings.
More information about the Researcher:
The JDRF-funded researcher who made the discovery is Dr. Megan Levings, an investigator at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children’s Hospital, a Professor in the University of British Columbia Department of Surgery, a member of Dr. Tim Kieffer’s team, and lead of the study, which was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
About JDRF Canada
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D. As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca
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