Natural immunomodulators as novel immunotherapies for type 1 diabetes

Our Concept

To bring together a consortium of leading European researchers spanning the field from genetics, through pancreatic beta-cells, dendritic cell and T-cell biology towards clinical interventions, allowing the development of novel and logical interventional therapies in Type 1 Diabetes.

We propose to pioneer the concept of tailored interventions with minimal immune system interference in new onset Type 1 Diabetes, leading to beta-cell protection and restoration, based on a solid understanding of the disease pathogenesis, enabling our experimental findings to be adopted for future clinical application.

groepsfoto NAIMIT Lisbon

The specific objectives of the project NAIMIT are:

1. To explore novel immunomodulatory approaches using natural immunomodulators (e.g. antigen, glucocorticoids and vitamin D derivatives) to modulate DC and T-lymphocyte function, both in vitro and in vivo with the aim of inducing antigen-specific regulation.

2. To introduce novel immunomodulatory tools to induce antigen-specific tolerance: soluble monoclonal TCRs (mTCRs) and L. lactis.

3. To gain insight into the mechanisms involved in immune-mediated beta-cell death aimed at harnessing the beta-cell against autoimmune attack.

4. To unravel the means of communication between beta-cells and the immune system in order to interfere with beta-cell destruction and propagation of the beta-cell destruction process.

5. To explore genetic variants responsible for the response to interventions allowing individualised therapies.

6. To build a consortium spanning basic and clinical research to allow new and individualised therapeutic approaches for clinical interventions in T1DM in the future.




    NAIMIT is an Collaborative Project funded by the European Union's 7th Framework Programme (FP7) and coordinated by the Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Endocrinology at the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL).

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