[ Diabetes Type 1 ]

Uterine stem cells used to treat diabetes in mice

Stem cell researchers at Harvard University have devised a method for creating large quantities of human insulin-producing beta cells, which could soon lead to a cure for type 1 diabetes as well as a new treatment for type 2 diabetes. Many relative animal studies have been done to evaluate the efficacy of this therapy in rats. Normally, blood sugar levels are controlled by the release of the hormone insulin. And pig pancreatic islets would actually be less likely than human islets to transmit viruses or other infectious agents because the animals can either be raised in biosecure housing or the islets themselves could be tested during culture, he noted. However, despite obtaining full hematopoietic engraftment in over 50 transplanted mice, only one mouse became insulin independent, and no beta-Gal positive islets were detected in any of the mice. However, physical activity is very useful for preventing the diabetic alteration to the neuronal tissues and skeletal muscle. Particular attention, however, is also given to the long-term challenges that have to be addressed before ES or iPS cell-based therapies will become a broadly accepted treatment option.

and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Some recent reports suggest that functional plasticity of adult stem cells may be greater than expected. We know that new beta-cells are generated throughout adult life, but the identity of adult pancreatic stem cells has been elusive. Some researchers in the section are investigating the mechanisms that govern the survival and developmental potential of germ cells, which become egg and sperm cells. The study authors write that endometrial tissue samples could be warehoused in a tissue bank. Inflammatory signals, such as IFN-γ, can activate and upregulate MSC suppressive activities (9,13). However, advances in immunology suggest it should be possible to do the same thing more selectively and with less risk.

Diabetes, if untreated or ill-managed, can bring about kidney failure, amputations due to poor circulation, blindness, heart attacks, and other life-threatening conditions. Responding to these substances, the endometrial stem cells adopted the characteristics of beta cells, cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. The incubation process took about three weeks. During this time, the endometrial stem cells took on the shape of beta cells and began making proteins typically made by beta cells. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause serious damage to the heart, eyes, blood vessels, kidneys and nerves, whilst injecting too much insulin can lead to a blood sugar level that is too low (hypoglycaemia) which can be fatal. After a meal, the body breaks food down into components like the sugar, glucose. Glucose then circulates in the blood.

In response, beta cells release insulin, which allows the body’s cells to take in the circulating glucose. In their study, the researchers exposed the mature stem cells to glucose and found that, like typical beta cells, the cultured cells responded by producing insulin. Next, the researchers injected the mature, insulin-making cells into the kidney capsule (membrane surrounding the kidney) of mice having a laboratory-induced form of diabetes. Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! In mice that did not receive the stem cell therapy, blood sugar levels remained high. Additionally, the mice became lethargic and developed cataracts—both signs of untreated diabetes. MSC were transfected with KLF2 plasmid DNA or gWIZ mammalian expression vector (Genlantis, USA) by using Lipofectamine 2000 (Invitrogen, USA) according to the manufacturer’s instruction.

However, the treatment was not entirely effective, as the animals’ blood sugar remained higher than normal. Still, the animals continued to produce some insulin for six weeks, until the researchers ended the study. 2014 Oct 9;159(2):428-39. Taylor explained that culture and transplantation of endometrial stem cells might prove useful principally for Type 1 diabetes. Together, these data demonstrate that the TMTD-modified, larger microspheres induced significantly less innate immune cell stimulation and reduced fibrosis. Ongoing experiments are comparing SDR to BM-MSC containing SDR, as well as alternative more flexible SDR. Although a diabetic woman’s immune system would be unlikely to reject islet cells developed from her own endometrial stem cells, it is still possible that her immune system would eventually target the new islet cells in the same way it targeted her original islet cells in the pancreas.

For this reason, studies using endometrial stem cells to treat diabetes might first need to find ways to quell the immune attack against the islet cells. Dr. Taylor added that endometrial stem cell therapy also might one day prove most useful for patients with Type 2 diabetes. In this form of diabetes, islet cells still produce insulin, but cells have trouble using insulin. In some patients with Type 2 diabetes, beta cells eventually die off. Dr. Taylor suggested that the stem cell approach might be helpful for patients at this later stage of the disease.

In 2010, the researchers published a study  which showed that endometrial stem cells could replace brain cells lost in mice having a laboratory-induced form of Parkinson’s disease. If successful, this could prevent the need for immunosuppressant drugs reducing the risk of further infection after surgery.

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