Viral protein detection and antigen presentation in Enterovirus infected beta cells
16. May 2019
Even though the exact reason why some people get type 1 diabetes and others don't is not completely known, the research community agrees that it most likely comes down to a combination of the individual persons genes and environmental factors. Viral infections are an example of such factors, and most notably, a group of viruses called Enteroviruses seem to be a likely suspect. The research group at TUD is trying to understand how these viruses might be involved in type 1 diabetes.
Zuzana presented their progress on trying to develop and characterize a laboratory tool called antibody, which would help them and other research groups to detect the presence of these viruses in laboratory samples from patients with type 1 diabetes and therefore try to "catch the virus at the scene of the crime".
In another part of their work, they are using immortalized cells grown in a petri dish as a model for the pancreatic beta cells, developed by another group within INNODIA (Scharfmann at Cochin) that produce insulin and which are attacked by the immune system in type 1 diabetes, which results in the shortage of insulin in the body that needs to then be replenished with insulin injections. They perform experiments, in which they infect these cells with the "suspect" Enteroviruses and then analyze how that changes the way these beta cells communicate with the immune system.