Scientists develop new technique to regenerate insulin in type 1 diabetics
Scientists have revealed that they have found a promising way for type 1 diabetics to restore the body's ability to produce insulin.
The by researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) has found that a peptide called caerulein can convert existing cells in the pancreas into those cells destroyed in type 1 diabetes-insulin-producing beta cells.
Fred Levine, of the Sanford Children's Health Research Center at Sanford-Burnham, said that they were able to generate new beta cells, the cells that produce insulin, by introducing caerulein to the pancreas and have potentially freed patients from daily doses of insulin to manage their blood-sugar levels.
The study first examined how mice in which almost all beta cells were destroyed—similar to humans with type 1 diabetes—responded to injections of caerulein. In those mice, but not in normal mice, they found that caerulein caused existing alpha cells in the pancreas to differentiate into insulin-producing beta cells. Alpha cells and beta cells are both endocrine cells meaning they synthesize and secret hormones—and they exist right next to one another in the pancreas in structures called islets. However, alpha cells do not normally become beta cells.
The study was published online in Cell Death and Disease.
(Posted on 01-08-2014)
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