Are obesity, diabetes and other diseases treatable using gene-therapy skin grafts?

| August 8, 2017

A research team based at the University of Chicago has overcome challenges that have limited gene therapy and demonstrated how their novel approach with skin transplantation could enable a wide range of gene-based therapies to treat many human diseases.

This study, “Engineered epidermal progenitor cells can correct diet-induced obesity and diabetes,” is the first to show that an engineered skin graft can survive long term in wild-type mice with intact immune systems.

They focused on diabetes because it is a common non-skin disease that can be treated by the strategic delivery of specific proteins.

The researchers inserted the gene for glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1), a hormone that stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin. This extra insulin removes excessive glucose from the bloodstream, preventing the complications of diabetes.

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They grafted this lab-grown gene-altered skin onto mice with intact immune systems. There was no significant rejection of the transplanted skin grafts. […] This promptly increased blood-insulin levels and reduced blood-glucose levels.

“Together, our data strongly suggest that cutaneous gene therapy with inducible expression of GLP1 can be used for the treatment and prevention of diet-induced obesity and pathologies,” the authors wrote.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Gene therapy via skin could treat many diseases, even obesity

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

 

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