The autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes is characterized by a destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas by the body’s own immune system. Insulin is a vital hormone which, amongst other functions, is responsible for the regulation of blood sugar levels. The project MIDAS uses modern imaging techniques to characterize temporal and spatial distribution of immune cells during the process of autoimmune beta cell destruction. Furthermore, the interaction and communication between immune cells and beta cells is analyzed in detail for the first time using ultrastructural analysis. A modern, newly developed algorithm will be applied to automatically analyze all generated imaging data. The MIDAS data sets are essential for the generation of synthetic cell models to better understand the course and outcome of the disease and the effectiveness of novel type 1 diabetes therapies in humans.
Univ.-Prof. Dr.med.univ. Thomas Pieber
Department of Internal Medicine
Medical University of Graz