360° Coverage : New diabetes treatment works with 'reprogrammed' cells

New diabetes treatment works with 'reprogrammed' cells

Washington, Feb 24 (IANS) A team of American scientists has successfully reprogrammed insulin-producing cells in an effort to discover a new way to fight diabetes.

Feb 24 2013, 3:50am CST | by

Washington, Feb 24 — A team of American scientists has successfully reprogrammed insulin-producing cells in an effort to discover a new way to fight diabetes.

For years, researchers have been searching, with limited success, for a way to treat diabetics by reactivating their insulin-producing beta cells.

The "reprogramming" of related alpha cells into beta cells may one day offer a novel and complementary approach for treating type 2 diabetes.

Treating human and mouse cells with compounds that modify cell nuclear material called chromatin induced the expression of beta cell genes in alpha cells, according to a new study that appears online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

"This would be a win-win situation for diabetics -- they would have more insulin-producing beta cells and there would be fewer glucagon-producing alpha cells," says lead author Klaus H. Kaestner, PhD, professor of Genetics and member of the Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Type 2 diabetics not only lack insulin, but they also produce too much glucagon (a hormone that raises blood glucose levels), reports Science Daily.

"We treated human islet cells with a chemical that inhibits a protein that puts methyl chemical groups on histones, which -- among many other effects -- leads to removal of some histone modifications that affect gene expression," says Kaestner.

"We then found a high frequency of alpha cells that expressed beta-cell markers, and even produced some insulin, after drug treatment," he says.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.

 

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