Login   |   Register   
Address 1 :
Address 2 :
Title : Dr.
First Name : MEHDI
Last Name : BENKAHLA
University/Institution : La Jolla Institute for Immunology
Phone # : 6193002676
Email ID : mbenkahla@lji.org
City : San Diego
Country : United States
State : California
Zipcode : 92122
Department : Type 1 diabetes Center
Company Name :
Area of Research
Autoimmunity-Type 1 diabetes
Area of Expertise
Virology, autoimmunity
Brief Description of Research Interest :
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease characterized by increased blood glucose levels due to the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells by the immune system, leading to a lifelong dependence on exogenous insulin. T1D is associated with the presence of autoantibodies prior to disease onset. The expansion of autoreactive B cells results in autoantibodies targeting insulin (IAA), glutamate decarboxylase 2 (GAD65), insulinoma-associated protein 2 (IA-2) and zinc transporter 8 (ZnT8). Ziegler et al. showed that children with multiple autoantibodies have greater risk of developping the disease than children with single autoantibody. The beta cells are complicit in their demise by hyperexpressing HLA class I and presenting the antigen on their surface, consequently becoming more prone to CD8 T cells destruction.

It is thought that an interaction between predisposing genes and environmental factors such as viral infections may trigger the disease. Several viruses, mainly from the Enterovirus genus have been considered as potential causal agents for human T1D.

I'm currently studying HLA class I expression in human pancreatic tissues along other immune response in the pancreas.

I'm also using a new model of pancreatic slices obtained from organ donors. The tissues were sliced at a size of 120 um and can be kept alive for up to 5 days. Using these slices I'm doing viral infections and studying the impact of these infections on beta cells and surrounding tissues.
Representative Publications :
Benkahla M.A., Sabouri S., Kiosses W.B., Rajendran S., Quesada-Masachs E., Von Herrath M.G., 2020. Overexpression of HLA class I predominantly on alpha cell in at risk individuals for type 1 diabetes. BioRxiv 2020 10.1101/2020.07.13.201079.

Sabouri, S., Benkahla, M.A., Kiosses W.B., Rodriguez-Calvo, T., Zaparadiel-Gonzalo, J., Castillo, E., Von Herrath, M.G., 2019. Human herpesvirus-6 is present in the pancreatic tissues of diabetic subjects. Journal of Autoimmunity 2019 Dec 6:102378. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2019.102378

Benkahla, M.A., Sane, F., Bertin, A., Vreulx, A.-C, Elmastour, F., Jaidane, H., Desailloud, R., Hober, D., 2019. Impact of coxsackievirus-B4E2 combined with a single dose of streptozotocin on pancreas of outbred mice: investigation of viral load, pathology and inflammation. Scientific Reports. 2019 Jul 12;9(1):10080. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-019- 46227-3.

Benkahla, M. A., Alidjinou, E.K., Sane, F., Desailloud, R., Hober, D., 2018. Fluoxetine can inhibit coxsackievirus-B4 E2 in vitro and in vivo. Antiviral Res. 159, 130–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2018.10.002

Benkahla, M. A., Elmastour, F., Sane, F., Vreulx, A.-C., Engelmann, I., Desailloud, R., Jaidane, H., Alidjinou, E.K., Hober, D., 2018. Coxsackievirus-B4E2 can infect monocytes and macrophages in vitro and in vivo. Virology 522, 271–280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2018.06.010

Benkahla, M.A., Sane, F., Desailloud, R., Hober, D., 2016. Exposure of Piglets to Enteroviruses Investigated by an Immunoassay Based on the EV-G1 VP4 Peptide. Intervirology 59, 69–73. https://doi.org/10.1159/000449058