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New Role for Ductal Cells in Type 1 Diabetes


Despite owning the same genetic material, our cells carry out highly specialized functions and vary from each other in many phenotypic aspects. Interestingly, when in troubled times (i.e., under stressful conditions) certain cells change their characteristic protein expression and turn into something completely unexpected, to help us survive. Fasolino and group shed light on such an instance where pancreatic ductal cells express immune surface proteins that potentially help protect against T cell infiltration in Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D), also called juvenile diabetes is an autoimmune disease where beta cells of the pancreas are destroyed by self-reactive T cells. The loss of beta cells abrogates insulin production which makes patients suffering from T1D completely dependent on pharmaceutical insulin for the rest of their lives. Not only is that a temporary solution, but it also deteriorates one’s quality of life. Hence, attempts in understanding the mechanism of disease elaborately…

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