Al-Zoubi and his team at Stem Cells of Arabia developed a novel way to purify specific types of stem cells taken from a diabetic patient's blood that are able to differentiate into Beta cells
that secrete insulin when transplanted into pancreatic tissues.
Stopping the autoimmune destruction of beta cells
allows the body to regenerate normal, insulin-secreting cells from the body's own adult stem cells and progenitors.
The combination of Ig-GAD2 and bone marrow cells did result in production of new beta cells
, but not in the way we expected," Zaghouani said.
We knew how important the first burst of insulin is for controlling our blood sugar, but we did not know what really went wrong in our beta cells
in people with type 2 diabetes," says Hussain.
In the initial stages of T2DM, there is increased secretion of insulin from beta cells
in the pancreas.
The team could see new beta cells
were trying to form in blood samples, which they can now learn from.
Researchers treated mice to destroy their pancreatic beta cells
and kept the mice alive by giving them insulin.
Data suggest that the antibody may work in patients with type 1 diabetes who have residual beta cells
by blocking the function of effector T cells that mistakenly attack and destroy insulin-producing beta cells
, while stimulating regulatory T cells that are understood to protect against effector T cell damage, thus preserving the beta cells
' ability to make insulin.
They started with 1,100 candidate genes and narrowed the field to 28 that are involved in forming the part of the pancreas where beta cells
Research showed that pumpkin extract promotes regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells in diabetic rats, boosting levels of insulin-producing beta cells
and insulin in the blood.
It is not known at this stage if the bone marrow stem cells are replacing the faulty immune system cells with ones that do not destroy the beta cells
, or if the bone marrow cells are able to support the production of new beta cells
Vilsboll observed that diabetes causes beta cells
to deteriorate by 4% every year.