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.

* * *

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

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

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

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (5)

You May Also Be Interested In...


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?

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.