GAD, a Single Autoantigen for Diabetes

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Science  14 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5417, pp. 1135-1137
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5417.1135

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The destruction of the insulin-producing b-islet cells of the pancreas by the immune system results in the development of type I diabetes. In their Perspective, von Boehmer and Sarukhan discuss the elegant demonstration in this issue ( Yoon et al.) that the initiating autoantigen in this cascade of cell destruction is glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). They go on to propose new therapeutic strategies to treat autoimmune diabetes based on inducing tolerance to the GAD antigen in individuals susceptible to developing the disease.