Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Medicinal Chemistry
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Adult Stem Cells Could Hold Key to Creating Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

Published: Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Combining bone marrow cells with new drug restores insulin production.

Millions of people with type 1 diabetes depend on daily insulin injections to survive. They would die without the shots because their immune system attacks the very insulin-producing cells it was designed to protect.

Now, a University of Missouri scientist has discovered that this attack causes more damage than scientists realized.

The revelation is leading to a potential cure that combines adult stem cells with a promising new drug.

The discovery is reported in the current online issue of Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association's flagship research publication.

Habib Zaghouani, PhD, J. Lavenia Edwards Chair in Pediatrics, leads the research with his team at the MU School of Medicine.

"We discovered that type 1 diabetes destroys not only insulin-producing cells but also blood vessels that support them," Zaghouani said. "When we realized how important the blood vessels were to insulin production, we developed a cure that combines a drug we created with adult stem cells from bone marrow. The drug stops the immune system attack, and the stem cells generate new blood vessels that help insulin-producing cells to multiply and thrive."

Surrounded by an army of students and a colony of mice, Zaghouani has spent the past 12 years in his lab at MU studying autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes.

Often called juvenile diabetes, the disease can lead to numerous complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, osteoporosis and blindness.

Type 1 diabetes attacks the pancreas. The organ, which is about the size of a hand and located in the abdomen, houses cell clusters called islets.

Islets contain beta cells that make insulin, which controls blood sugar levels. In people with type 1 diabetes, beta cells no longer make insulin because the body's immune system has attacked and destroyed them.

When the immune system strikes the beta cells, the attack causes collateral damage to capillaries that carry blood to and from the islets. The damage done to the tiny blood vessels led Zaghouani on a new path toward a cure.

In previous studies, Zaghouani and his team developed a drug against type 1 diabetes called Ig-GAD2. They found that treatment with the drug stopped the immune system from attacking beta cells, but too few beta cells survived the attack to reverse the disease.

In his latest study, Zaghouani used Ig-GAD2 and then injected adult stem cells from bone marrow into the pancreas in the hope that the stem cells would evolve into beta cells.

"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 thought the bone marrow cells would evolve directly into beta cells. Instead, the bone marrow cells led to growth of new blood vessels, and it was the blood vessels that facilitated reproduction of new beta cells. In other words, we discovered that to cure type 1 diabetes, we need to repair the blood vessels that allow the subject's beta cells to grow and distribute insulin throughout the body."

Zaghouani is pursuing a patent for his promising treatment and hopes to translate his discovery from use in mice to humans. He is continuing his research with funding from the National Institutes of Health and MU.

"This is extremely exciting for our research team," he said. "Our discovery about the importance of restoring blood vessels has the potential to be applied not only to type 1 diabetes but also a number of other autoimmune diseases."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Small Molecules Lead to a Big Change in Reaction Outcomes
Scientists have changed the behaviour of a group of molecules involved in carbon-oxygen bond synthesis.
Targeting Fat to Treat Cancer
Researchers develop novel cancer treatment that halts fat synthesis in cells, stunting tumors.
Hyperstable Peptides for 'On-Demand' Drugs
These small molecules can fold into different conformations that could allow for greater flexibility in precision drug design
Drug Leads Identified to Combat Heart Disease
Using three supercomputers, researchers surveyed protein structures through accelerated molecular dynamics.
Accelerating the Path to Molecules for Medicine
Researchers convert carbon-hydrogen bonds into nitriles - converting organic molecules into components of medicines.
Game Changing Antibacterial Drug Research
Researchers publish report on the synthesis of a newly discovered “game-changing” antibiotic, Teixobactin.
New Hope for Zika Treatment Found in Large-Scale Screen of Existing Drugs
Johns Hopkins researchers join collaborative group to screen 6,000 existing drugs in hopes of finding treatments for Zika Virus infection
New Way of Displaying 3D Molecular Structures
Metal-organic frameworks provide a new platform for solving the structure of hard-to-study samples.
Agent Blocks Pain Without Morphine's Side Effects
Scientists have synthesised a molecule with specific pain-relief properties and has shown its efficacy in mice.
Cutting the Cost of Drug-Building Chemicals
EPFL scientists have developed a method to produce aryl-containing amines in a cheap and easily scalable way.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!