Gene modification of adult cells offers more hope for Type 1 diabetes than stem cells

By deleting a single gene in human gut endocrine progenitor and serotonin-producing cells, researchers reported that they were able convert them into cells that produce insulin.

As a result, the elusive goal of generating fully functional insulin-producing cells to free patients with type 1 diabetes from daily insulin injections may be closer to reality, with no stem cell transplantation involved.

The findings, reported online in Nature Communications, may lead to novel type 1 diabetes treatments that involve coaxing existing gut cells in patients to produce insulin and release it when needed, according to Domenico Accili, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues.

However, “we have tried to make insulin-producing cells from stem cells for a long time, and while there have been several incremental steps forward, I would say we are not much closer today than we were 3 or 4 years ago,” Accili told MedPage Today.

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Read the full, original story: GI Cells Remade to Produce Insulin

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