Research ArticleAutoimmunity

A miRNA181a/NFAT5 axis links impaired T cell tolerance induction with autoimmune type 1 diabetes

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Science Translational Medicine  03 Jan 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 422, eaag1782
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag1782

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Meddling with microRNA to treat type 1 diabetes

Among other immune dysfunctions, patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have defective regulatory T cell responses. T cell differentiation is guided by many types of signals and could potentially be altered to treat autoimmunity. Serr and colleagues examined how the microRNA miRNA181a can push immune activation in the context of T1D. They combine results from patients and a mouse model to demonstrate that miRNA181a increases NFAT5 and dampens regulatory T cell induction. Inhibiting this microRNA or NFAT5 could potentially open up new avenues of restoring immune balance in T1D.