Pig Pancreas Cells Seem to Thrive in Diabetic Monkeys

Dec 31, 2007

Awhile back, three macaque monkeys with type 1 diabetes received transplants of 19 pig pancreas primordia, each one smaller than the period at the end of this sentence.

Primordia are embryonic cells. Unlike stem cells, however, which can become any type of cell, primordia are destined to become pancreatic cells.

Because they are embryonic, primordia do not elicit the immune response triggered by more mature pancreatic cells. As a result, the monkeys did not require any immunosuppressive drugs. Within several weeks of the transplants, the cells became established, matured and began producing pig insulin.

It's been two years now for one of the monkeys, and the pig insulin it produces has reduced its need for injected insulin by 50 percent. A second monkey is 10 months post-transplant, and its need for injected insulin continues to decline. The third monkey, sadly, died of unrelated reasons.

The researchers believe that additional transplants should entirely eliminate the monkeys' need for injected insulin. They hope eventually to conduct clinical trials in humans using the same technique.

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Source: Washington University in St. Louis Record, November 2007

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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Islet & Pancreas Transplant, Professional Issues, Research, Type 1 Issues


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Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 31 December 2007

Why is this research so slow? One monkey--two years; another--10 months. And it's only speculated that additional implants would improve the already impressive results. So why the delay in finding this out? There appears to be little motivation to speed this research up. Why is this? Why isn't there a flood of charities, universities or diabetic associations eager to patronize this seemingly serious effort to develop a cure?

Posted by Anonymous on 13 January 2008

I am with you on this one this is to slow of a process my son who is 16 years old developed type 1 a year ago with no family history and tall and slender as they come. i am steady looking for cures but there doesnt seem to be enough research and this is a very fatal disease.

Posted by Anonymous on 6 February 2008

maybe is in somebody's interest to slow down the process

Posted by Anonymous on 21 February 2008

I believe that they really dont care about diabetes because half of them dont have it. Its the last thing the government wants to see because they enjoy seeing the american population diminish. AINT THAT THE TRUTH

Posted by Anonymous on 28 June 2008

My son too has type 1 diabetes, and I do research on diabetes. We can find a cure. The above article should cite its source so that the questions raised by others re "so slow" can be addressed specifically. Is this published in the medical literature?


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