Pancreatic Stem Cells Can Regenerate Beta Cells

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Researchers reveal that progenitor cells in the human pancreas can be stimulated for the development of glucose-responsive beta cells, according to a study conducted on February 27, 2018.

For decades now, it has been hypothesized that progenitor cells are harbored by pancreas to regenerate islets. Now, researchers have found that they can be stimulated for the development of glucose-responsive beta cells. Juan Dominguez-Bendala, Ph.D., Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) director of pancreatic stem cell development said, “Our in-depth study of these pancreatic stem cells may help us tap into an endogenous cell supply ‘bank’ for beta cell regeneration purposes and, in the future, lead to therapeutic applications for people living with type 1 diabetes.”

Previous studies conducted by DRI had reported that bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP-7) helps in the stimulation of progenitor-like cells within the pancreatic tissue. In a recent study conducted by the researchers, stem cells that respond to BMP-7 are were seen residing in the pancreatic ductal glandular network of the organ. By combining the results obtained from both the studies, researchers might be able to move closer in developing regenerative cell therapies for Type 1 diabetes.

Patients suffering from type 1 diabetes have to go through insulin therapy as their insulin-producing cells are damaged by the immune system. Production of some insulin happens in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, however, beta cells in them might get dysfunctional. Studies conducted until now have all focused on developing more pancreatic cells. A safer solution is to regenerate the insulin producing cells.

This study will be beneficial in developing regenerative cell therapies for type 1 diabetes patients. Therefore, it gives a scope for the diabetes monitoring devices market to develop new devices for type 1 diabetes, as detailed in the diabetes monitoring devices market report published by Coherent Market Insights.

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