Discovery of the suppressive effect of regulatory T cells by metformin for diabetes treatment

October 27(Fri), 2017

The joint research group of Professor Heiichiro Udono and Assistant Professor Shingo Eikawa of the Department of Immunology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Akira Sasaki of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Biopathology), and graduate student Yuki Kunisada identified that metformin, the first-line medication for treatment of type 2 diabetes, downregulates the growth and functions of regulatory T cells that exist in a cancerous region. The result of this study was published in EBioMedicine, a partner science magazine of Cell Press and The Lancet, as a research article (online version) on October 15.

Regulatory T cells invading a cancerous region are a type of immune cell, but they are known to suppress the function of cytotoxic T cells that attack cancer cells. The suppressive effect of metformin against regulatory T cells leads to enhanced immune action against cancer, and to the clear possibility of contributing to cancer immunotherapy.

Article Information
DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.10.009
Authors: Yuki Kunisada, Shingo Eikawa, Nahoko Tomonobu, Shohei Domae, Takenori Uehara, Shohei Hori, Yukihiro Furusawa, Koji Hase, Akira Sasaki, and Heiichiro Udono
Journal: EBioMedicine
Title: Attenuation of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in the tumor microenvironment by metformin, a type 2 diabetes drug
Year of Publication: 2017
Volume: 25                                                                   


Okayama University Silicon Valley Office (OUSVO)

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