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UC Davis Medicine Logo
The institution's principal publication for alumni, friends and physicians.
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  N E W S  
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"" New avenue for drug development ""
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"" Statins help with heart disease, diabetes ""
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"" New education building opens to students, uniting all four years under one roof ""
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  Rue plant source of new arthritis, diabetes drugs  
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  HIV hides from drugs in gut  
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  OJ drink cuts heart disease risk  
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  Biotechnology pacemakers closer to replacing electronic versions  
     
  NIH funds new center for clinical, translational research  
     
  Vascular surgery broadcast  
     
  NIH grants up  
     
  New associate dean  
     
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NEWS
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Rue plant source of new arthritis, diabetes drugs

Researchers at UC Davis, UC Irvine and other institutions have developed new drugs that successfully treated rheumatoid arthritis and prevented the onset of Type 1 diabetes in animals via a cellular structure long suspected of playing a key role in those diseases.

The new drugs, derived from the rue plant — an herb used medicinally since the Middle Ages — act on a specific opening, or ion channel, in the membranes of T cells. Heike Wulff, UC Davis assistant professor of medical pharmacology and toxicology and co-author of the study, originally identified the molecules from the rue plant used to develop the drugs.

In the process of developing the new drugs, the researchers confirmed that the ion channel targeted by the medications is responsible for a range of auto-immune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Type 1 diabetes. The study results appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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UC DAVIS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
PUBLIC AFFAIRS
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Sacramento, CA 95820

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