December 15, 2011 (Hollywood, FL) – The Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and Foundation (DRIF) will co-sponsor the 8th annual World Stem Cell Summit, scheduled for Dec. The researchers have evaluated the best potential sources for adult stem cells to be used for that purpose, determining that cells taken from donors who do not suffer diabetes likely will be more effective than cells taken from patients’ own bodies. A study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine showed that a course of hyperbaric oxygen treatment triggers an eight-fold increase in the number of circulating stem cells, possibly by boosting the activity of enzymes involved in the release and activity of stem cells. Furthermore, the scientists were able to induce these stem cells into becoming beta cells, the insulin-producing cells lost in type 1 diabetes. Diabetic patients can take daily shots of insulin to manage their disease, but scientists are looking to stem cells for a more permanent solution. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a life-threatening chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow glucose to enter cells to produce energy. Another developing field in stem cells research is that on the immunomodulatory ability of some stem populations, in particular those defined as perinatal, derived from fetus-associated tissues usually discarded at birth.
All forms of diabetes have been treatable since insulin became available in 1921, and type 2 Diabetes may be controlled with medications. Diabetes treatment with fetal stem cells induces the chance of a ‘cure’ in more than half of cases. The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association. Sander, Ren and their teams first made maps of chromosomal modifications over time, as embryonic stem cells differentiated through several different developmental intermediates on their way to becoming pancreatic and liver cells. But matching the precise insulin control achieved by the healthy pancreas is almost impossible, so researchers have hoped for decades to find a way to replace the missing cells. Powell, C Bellanné-Chantelot, S.E. He hopes these cells will become “universal-donor” cells and usable for all types of transplantations in humans, not just pancreas cells.
Obama’s Executive Order sets a period of 120 days for the NIH to develop guidelines, which is just what we wanted: allowing science decisions to be made by the NIH, not the White House. The liver has a similar blood supply to the pancreas and the procedure to infuse the cells is surgically very simple. The more recent work done by Dr. Skae, P.E. Clayton, P. de Lonlay, M.J. Dunne, K.E.
Since these experiments have proven it’s possible to make beta cells from the tissue of patients with type 1 diabetes, it’s likely the technique also would work in patients with other forms of the disease — including type 2 diabetes, neonatal diabetes and Wolfram syndrome. (2011) In Vitro Recovery of ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channels in β-Cells from Patients with Congenital Hyperinsulinism of Infancy. Diabetes 60:1-6.