Researchers target human stomach stem cells for diabetes treatment, ET HealthWorld

Researchers target human stomach stem cells for diabetes treatment, ET HealthWorld

New York: Potential Therapeutic Strategies Diabetes Usage stem cell from human stomach make releasing cells insulin in response to elevated blood sugar levels.

A preliminary study conducted by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and their results were published in the journal April 27. natural cell biologythe researchers demonstrated can be directly reprogrammed stem cell isolated from human stomach It transforms tissue into cells that closely resemble beta cells, the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas. In the rat model, DiabetesTransplantation of small clusters of these cells reversed disease symptoms.

This is a proof-of-concept study that provides a solid foundation for developing therapies for type 1 and severe type 2 diabetes based on the patient’s own cells,” said the study’s lead author and professor of regenerative medicine. Dr. Joe Zhou said. He is a MD and a member of the Hartmann Institute of Therapeutic Organ Regeneration at Weill Cornell Medical School.

Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, and without it, blood sugar levels become too high, leading to diabetes and its many complications. An estimated 1.6 million Americans have her type 1 diabetes. This diabetes is caused by an autoimmune attack that destroys pancreatic beta cells. At least millions of other Americans lack enough beta cells for severe type 2 diabetes. Current treatments for such cases include insulin injections by manual and wearable pumps, which are associated with pain, potential for ineffective glycemic control, and the need for cumbersome device fitting. It has multiple drawbacks.

biomedical researcher They hope to replace beta cell function in a more natural way by implanting human cells that function similarly to beta cells, such as automatically sensing blood sugar levels and secreting insulin when needed. I am aiming for Ideally, the patient’s own cells are used for such transplants to avoid problems of transplant rejection.

Dr. Zhou has been working toward this goal for over 15 years. In his early experiments as a postdoctoral researcher, he discovered: pancreatic cells By forcibly activating three transcription factors, the proteins that control gene expression, it is possible to turn insulin-producing beta-like cells into cells that subsequently release the genes required for normal beta-cell development. Activated. In a 2016 study, again using mice, he and his team showed that specific stem cells in the stomach, called gastric stem cells, are also highly sensitive to this three-factor activation method.

“The stomach makes its own hormone-secreting cells, and stomach cells pancreatic cells In that sense, it is not entirely surprising that gastric stem cells can readily convert into beta-like insulin-secreting cells, as they are adjacent at the embryonic stage of development,” said Zhou.

Attempts to replicate these results using human gastric stem cells, which are relatively easily harvested from patients in an outpatient procedure called endoscopy, were delayed by various technical hurdles. However, in a new study led by the first author, Dr. Huang XiaofengThe researchers, who are lecturers in molecular biology at Weill Cornell Medical College, have finally succeeded.

After turning human gastric stem cells into beta-like cells, the researchers expanded the cells in small clusters called organoids, and found that these organ-like pieces of tissue quickly became glucose-sensitive and responded to insulin secretion. discovered. When transplanted into diabetic mice, the beta-like organoids functioned much like real pancreatic beta cells, secreting insulin in response to elevated blood sugar levels and maintaining constant blood sugar levels. The implants continued to function for as long as the researchers observed, suggesting good durability.

Dr. Zhou said he and his lab will have to optimize the method in a number of ways before considering it for clinical use. Necessary improvements include ways to scale up the production of beta cells for transplantation into humans, and the use of beta-like cells to make them vulnerable to the type of immune attack that initially wipes out beta cells in people with type 1 diabetes. includes methods of modifying the

Ultimately, the researchers hope to develop a technique that would be relatively easy to harvest gastric stem cells from a patient and weeks later implant insulin-secreting organoids that regulate blood sugar levels without the need for additional medication. .

  • Published May 26, 2023 at 2:13 PM IST

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