Stem Cells Cure Diabetes in Rats

Monday, 10 October 2011 08:33 AM

Could a cure for diabetes come from within our brains?

Japanese scientists have taken neural stem cells from rats’ brains and transformed them into pancreatic cells that produce insulin to treat diabetes, New Scientist reports.

The work with the cells didn’t involve any genetic manipulation outside the body, a significant improvement to such experimentation. When other labs attempted to alter stem cells from other parts of the body, alterations or genetic manipulations were necessary, but that raises safety concerns when transferring the treatment to humans.

Researchers reporting in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine said they believe it would be possible to safely extract neural stem cells from humans using an endoscope.

The latest work involved exposing the cells to Wnt3a, a human protein responsible for turning on insulin production, and to an antibody that stops a natural inhibitor of the production of insulin. Rats with both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes who received treatment showed normal blood glucose levels within a week.

To read the complete New Scientist story, Go Here.

© HealthDay

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Monday, 10 October 2011 08:33 AM
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