In 2014, Douglas Melton's lab showed for the first time that stem cells could be converted to functional beta cells
, taking a step toward giving patients their own source of insulin.
"The really exciting finding is that in the laboratory at least, we have been able to reverse the changes - turn the delta cells back to beta cells
- if we restore the environment to normal, or if we treat the cells with chemicals that restore the regulator genes and the patterns of RNA messages made to normal.
The difficulty scientists have faced has been to figure out how to program stem cells into becoming functioning beta cells
producing insulin, and they have had to overcome many obstacles.
Each time, the stem cells were then treated with various growth factors to coax them into insulin-secreting beta cells
. The beta cells
, however, didn't work as well as the researchers had hoped.
Medicine company ViaCyte Inc revealed on Monday that it has been implanted human stem cell-derived product candidate (PEC-Direct) in type 1 diabetes patients at a subtherapeutic dose at UZ Brussel, the University Hospital of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), under collaboration with The Center for Beta Cell
Therapy in Diabetes.
According to lead author Dr Andrew Stewart, director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism Institute, no available diabetes drug regenerates beta cells
in patients with the condition.
Without drug intervention, beta cells
replicate at average rate of 0.2 percent per day.
The occurrence of beta cells
more in the age group of 2130 yrs.
When the researchers reduced the amount of the ss3 subunit in the beta cells
in the diabetic mice, the Ca2+ signal normalized and thereby the release of insulin, resulting in better regulation of the blood glucose levels.
Pancreatic beta cells
secrete insulin in two phases in response to an increase in blood glucose concentration.
Here, we describe potential strategies to generate 3D cultures of beta cells
, hMSCs, and also cocultures of both cell types.
The oxidative stress is the major underlying mechanism in the pathogenesis of diabetes-induced beta cell
damage and its devastating complications.5 The patho-physiology of progression and complications of diabetes also involves hyperglycaemia-induced endothelial dysfunction which disturbs the balance of reactive nitrogen and reactive oxygen species (NOx-ROS system).6 As diabetes-induced oxidative stress disturbs the pancreatic endocrine-endothelial axis, it seems axiomatic that use of antioxidants can hamper the diabetes-induced oxidative injury and protect beta cells
and endothelial cells.7