IMMUNOLOGY: Diabetes on Display

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Science  16 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5742, pp. 1790b
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5742.1790b

Autoimmune conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, are unpredictable and difficult to manage. Improvements in treatment will depend on better noninvasive monitoring of those at risk in order to enable forecasting of disease onset, sensitive and accurate screening for changes in disease status, and prediction of how the condition in a given individual might respond to treatment.

Turvey et al. used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of mouse models of type 1 diabetes, in which the accumulation of a biocompatible superparamagnetic nanoparticle was used to detect changes in microvascular permeability that accompany autoimmune-induced pancreatic inflammation. In the NOD mouse, MRI measures of increased vascular leakage correlated with diabetes close to the time of disease onset, but were not as useful in longer-range prognosis. In a therapeutic setting in which T cell tolerance was achieved using antibody to CD3, prediction of therapeutic efficacy was possible, with low vascular leakage values corresponding to a favorable response to therapy, reflected by normal-range blood glucose levels. Similar noninvasive monitoring using magnetic nanoparticles is already being assessed in the clinic for lymph node metastases, and these experimental studies suggest that their use in organ-specific autoimmune conditions may also be feasible. — SJS

J. Clin. Invest. 115, 2454 (2005).

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