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    One of the advantages of using genetically engineered insulin rather than insulin from pigs is that 'there is less chance of developing tolerance to the insulin'. What does this mean?

    I'm thinking that maybe it means that insulin from pigs would be more likely to cause an immune response to occur and then antibodies would be manufactured for it leading to memory cells, which would mean that whenever that insulin entered the body it would be useless as it would just be attacked by the immune system. Is that what it means?
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    (Original post by tammie94)
    One of the advantages of using genetically engineered insulin rather than insulin from pigs is that 'there is less chance of developing tolerance to the insulin'. What does this mean?

    I'm thinking that maybe it means that insulin from pigs would be more likely to cause an immune response to occur and then antibodies would be manufactured for it leading to memory cells, which would mean that whenever that insulin entered the body it would be useless as it would just be attacked by the immune system. Is that what it means?
    Whenever you become "tolerant" of a drug, it means you stop responding to it. This is the same rule for antigens: if you become tolerant to an antigen, your immune system stops interacting with them, although it happens by a different mechanism.

    Tolerance to drugs is mostly through downregulation (i.e. expressing less of) the receptor, but it can also be because the drug doesn't reach the site of action, which could be by the mechanism that you suggest. I'm aware that antigenicity of insulin does develop, however, I'm not sure if this is the primary method of insulin resistance developing in pig insulin.
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    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
    Whenever you become "tolerant" of a drug, it means you stop responding to it. This is the same rule for antigens: if you become tolerant to an antigen, your immune system stops interacting with them, although it happens by a different mechanism.

    Tolerance to drugs is mostly through downregulation (i.e. expressing less of) the receptor, but it can also be because the drug doesn't reach the site of action, which could be by the mechanism that you suggest. I'm aware that antigenicity of insulin does develop, however, I'm not sure if this is the primary method of insulin resistance developing in pig insulin.
    So what other ways could tolerance to pig insulin occur?

    Also another advantage I'm a little confused about is that there'd be 'a lower risk of infection'. Is this referring to it causing an immune response and the negative effects of this such as inflammation and etc.
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    anyone?
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