Researchers at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) have created insulin producing cells in vitro that successfully produced insulin in vivo for Type I Diabetes patients. Type I diabetics experience an autoimmune disorder which attacks and destroys the body’s insulin-producing beta cells. These patients have to take continuous insulin injections and closely and constantly monitor their blood sugar levels, since extremely high or low blood sugar levels cause diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperglycemic shock, leading to coma and death. Though diabetes is currently manageable, patients must be constantly vigilant since their bodies’ inability to regulate blood sugar often leads to other systemic diseases such as blood vessel damage, neuropathy and nephropathy, just to name a few. The study from USCF involved directing human pancreatic stem cells to become insulin-producing islets cells in the lab. In an animal model, the cells were then implanted back into the body and were shown to produce insulin in response to blood sugar spikes. Additionally, the islets produced other essential hormones for blood sugar regulation, fully resembling normal pancreatic islets.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been found to be effective in accelerating healing time for diabetics. In patients with diabetes, high blood sugar levels negatively impact circulation and impair the immune system’s ability to fight off infections at the site of wounds. In an animal study, adipose derived MSCs, proved to be effective at decreasing inflammation and increasing circulation around wounds. Previous studies have utilized MSCs recovered from bone marrow. This study demonstrates the potential of MSCs, which can be derived from multiple sources, including teeth, to treat the millions of diabetics around the world who suffer from this debilitating affliction.
Researchers at Cornell University are working on a stem cell-infused implant that could cure insulin deficiency for diabetics. Type I diabetes results from inadequate or malfunctioning insulin-producing beta cells in the islets of the pancreas, as well as an autoimmune response that attacks the body's insulin-producing cells. This treatment utilizes stem cells and directs them to differentiate into these cells. As opposed to daily insulin injections, the treatment is designed to provide a long-term solution that eliminates the need to constantly monitor blood sugar. It utilizes a naturally derived hydrogel to create a thread packed with stem cells induced to become pancreatic islets which is then implanted into the abdomen. Additionally, the treatment addresses what no other current treatment addresses: the body’s immune system attacking the insulin-producing cells. Encasing the cells protects them from the autoimmune response, increasing their efficacy and lifespan.
According to a recently published study from the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] have the ability to reverse type I diabetes by suppressing the auto-immune attack of islet cells. Although the MSCs cannot be directly injected into the pancreas, the researchers utilized the surface adhesion molecule HCELL to hone the stem cells in on the inflamed islets, allowing them to normalize blood sugar levels without the use of insulin.
Researchers led by Dr. Habib Zaghouani from the University of Missouri have developed a potential cure to Type 1 Diabetes by utilizing mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs]. Although researchers anticipated that the MSCs would differentiate into new insulin producing pancreatic beta cells, they discovered that the stem cells fulfilled the more critical function of repairing damaged blood vessels, which in turn facilitated the regeneration of insulin producing pancreatic beta cells and the distribution of insulin across the body.
Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes have developed a potential treatment for Type 1 diabetes by differentiating stem cells into insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. These new cells, when transplanted into animal models, lowered abnormally high glucose levels down to a more healthy level in just one week.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, adult stem cell therapies are advancing rapidly; with researchers utilizing stem cells to treat an expanding range of disease, trauma and injury. The article highlights the increasing use of cord blood to treat a variety of ailments such as; Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury and immune deficiencies such as diabetes.
In an early stage study recently carried out by the Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Center (IKDRC), a treatment developed by the IKDRC utilizing Insulin Secreting Cells (ISC), derived from the patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells, shows that the need for insulin doses decreased by an average of 50% when the ISCs were implanted in patients.
Millions of individuals around the world suffer from type-1 diabetes, three million in the US alone. Researchers at the University of Missouri, led by Dr. Habib Zaghouani, have developed a two pronged approach to curing the disease: they modulate the immune system with a drug that stops it from attacking the pancreas and use stem cells to regenerate and rebuild the insulin producing pancreatic beta cells.
In a demonstration of the expanded use of stem cells in novel ways, researchers at the City of Hope Medical Research Center in Duarte, California, have developed a treatment approach that may effectively cure Type 1 diabetes. In this study, researchers utilized stem cells to both initiate regeneration of pancreatic β cells as well moderate the immune system to prevent the destruction of the pancreas.