Mice Have Had Their Diabetes Reversed After Receiving Pancreatic Tissue Grown in Rats
Researchers have managed to reverse type 1 diabetes in mice by giving them a transplant of pancreatic tissue grown inside rats.
The pancreatic tissue was grown from stem cells taken from healthy mice, which means the diabetic mice accepted the transplant without needing immunosuppressive drugs - and the new pancreatic cells successfully managed their blood sugar levels for more than a year without any other medication.
The results suggest the same technology could one day be used to treat humans, and possibly improve the success of all types of organ donations.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system destroys certain tissues within the pancreas, such as the pancreatic islet cells, which are responsible for producing insulin.
Without insulin, the body has a hard time getting glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells, which is why diabetics need to rely on regular injections and blood-sugar monitoring to manage their condition.
But researchers are constantly looking for a more effective, long-term solution.
In the 1970s, scientists found some success transplanting clusters of so-called islet cells in lab mice, prompting hopes that tissue-transplants were just around the corner for diabetics. But progress has been slow, in spite of advances in recent years that have seen transplanted cells survive longer.
Yet these transplants still require a lifetime of antirejection drugs.
Having islet cells that the body accepts as its own would help do away with these antirejection medications, which mask the foreign appearance of another individual’s tissues, and scient Continue reading