Adult Stem Cell “Memories” Could Aid in Type 1 Treatment

Stem Cell Research

| Aug 4, 2011

Israeli researchers have found that stem cells derived from adult pancreatic cells are more efficient at making insulin-producing cells than stem cells derived from embryos.  Scientists at Tel Aviv University theorize that the cells retain a "memory" of what they were before they were coaxed into becoming stem cells. That memory includes the ability to produce insulin. Because of it, the adult stem cells are better at forming insulin-making cells than their embryonic counterparts.

Stem cells, whether derived from embryos or adults, are considered "pluripotent," which means they have the ability to differentiate into many different cell types. Scientists sees them as potential building blocks for organ reconstruction.

For people who have type 1 diabetes, which results from an autoimmune attack that destroys their pancreatic beta cells, the Israeli research suggests that stem cells might someday be used to reconstruct functioning beta cells. A stem cell-based therapy would be a welcome alternative to organ transplants, which can lead to organ rejection or a lifetime of taking immune-suppressing drugs.

Because the new beta cells would come from a patient's own body, there would be less likelihood of outright rejection. However, because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, stem cell research will have to go hand-in-hand with treatments that inhibit the autoimmune attack on beta cells.

The study was published in Cell Stem Cell, the official affiliated journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: , Diabetes, Diabetes, Type 1 Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

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 (3)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by Anonymous on 4 August 2011

We've heard this all before. How about we actually do something significant at the patients bedside before we post it for the "headlines & hope" crowds.

Posted by Anonymous on 5 August 2011

Why is it countries that have universal health care are making great strides in preventing Type 1 diabetes as a vaccine or finding alternatives to expensive maintenance drug/synthetic insulin programs as replacing beta cells and protecting those cells from the antibodies that attack? I know why! It is our country's belief that health care isn't a right but rather a life source to the "vampires" (aka the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries) that suck the life and finances out of us; especially those suffering from diseases, disorders, accidents...regardless if it is physical or mental. I pray every day another more caring enlightened nation will come up with those "resolves" for Type 1 diabetes, not just for a better quality of life, but the chance to even just survive. I also pray this nation wakes up out of its stupor and ignorance and starts to do the right thing that so many other intelligent nations are doing. Namaste and God Bless.

Posted by Anonymous on 5 August 2011

Unless it's a treatment at the bedside or a cure, please don't publish articles like this. We have heard so much of this and it yields nothing. The first islet cells were transplanted into rats in 1976 and researchers are still fumbling with them but blame it on supply. Pass along facts, not "could" or "maybe" one day impact diabetes. It's nothing more than the perpetuation of false hope. My family has heard it for over 40 years and we still have complications and INJECT insulin. I come to this site for fact not fiction. Thank you.

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:
©1991-2014 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.