Researchers assumed that beta cells, which are insulin producing cells in the pancreas, would be produced by the differentiating adult stem cells that were introduced into the tissue.
Instead, the beat cells replenished their own numbers by slowly dividing.
“Ultimately, if diabetes researchers learn how to control insulin production, we can better treat patients who now can’t produce insulin–children and adults with type 1 diabetes,” said study leader Jake A. Kushner, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “This research tells us that we need to better understand what regulates the growth of beta cells, rather than searching for adult stem cells that give rise to beta cells.”
In the May issue of Developmental Cell, Dr. Kushner’s team reported their results which were based on animal studies.
The breakthrough could establish the basis for eventual therapies since it advances the fundamental understanding of insulin biology. An instant impact on diabetic treatment is not likely due to the study.
Life-saving medication or insulin injections are presently a necessity for patients with type 1 diabetes. Medical researchers hope to restore the body