NEW YORK, April 27, 2010 - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation announced today that it is partnering with Living Cell Technologies (LCT), a New Zealand-based biotechnology company focused on developing cell based therapeutics, in a Phase II clinical trial to study the safety and effectiveness of transplanting encapsulated insulin-producing cells from pigs as a treatment for type 1 diabetes with significant hypoglycemia unawareness.
You may not have heard of GAD, but it's a hot topic in the world of type 1 diabetes research. GAD, which stands for glutamic acid decarboxylase, is an enzyme in the brain and the pancreas that plays several roles in the body. As an enzyme, it converts the excitatory amino acid glutamate into the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which nerve cells use to communicate. But it also has a less helpful role, as an autoantigen (an element of self that provokes the generation of antibodies) in autoimmune diabetes.
An enzyme that destroys pancreatic beta cells in lab mice has now been observed in human beta cells. Because scientists already know how to delete the mouse gene that produces the enzyme, they are hopeful that the same therapy can eventually be applied to people with type 1 diabetes. If so, it would be one of the most powerful therapies yet for addressing the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells that causes type 1.
A hormone responsible for the body's stress response is also linked to the growth of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, according to JDRF- funded researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California. The findings are the latest advances to underscore the potential for regeneration as a key component of a possible cure for type 1 diabetes.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers have transformed ordinary mouse skin cells directly into neurons, bypassing the need for stem cells or even stemlike cells and greatly speeding up the field of regenerative medicine.
An international research consortium has found 13 new genetic variants that influence blood glucose regulation, insulin resistance, and the function of insulin-secreting beta cells in populations of European descent. Five of the newly discovered variants increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes.
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