Finally,we are very close to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Stem cells have thecapability to just that, and even more. There is potential for them to treat type1 diabetes and improve the lives of those with type 2. Stem cells will continueto improve with other technology eventually leading up to being able todifferentiate into appropriate b-cells and successfully be transplanted andworking in those who require it. Stem cells are currently considered a frontierfor diabetes therapy, but it could eventually develop to become its basis.
Theprevious research stated by Millman et. al (2015) seems to share similar ideasand finding to another research done a few years earlier. This research byMaehr et. al (2009) shows that using human induced pluripotent stem cells isbetter than embryonic because they have been generated as a tool for humandisease modeling. Embryonic stem cells only model diseases that can be diagnosedor predicted by Mendelian genetics. Type 1 diabetes is a disease with complex underlyinggenetics and unidentified environmental triggers. Cell replacement therapywould require a source of glucose-responsive, insulin secreting cells.
Intheory, mouse and human fibroblasts would be used to generate inducedpluripotent stem cells. The T1D- specific induced pluripotent (DiPS) cellswould contain the genotype for the disease for further studies. The purpose ofthis study was to derive DiPS cells from patients with type 1 diabetes anddetermine whether or not the cells can be differentiated into the pancreaticb-cell.
Observing the stem cells, b-cells derived from DiPS are glucose responsive,but is not yet possible to directly compare them with purified pancreaticb-cells until differentiation protocols have improved. “In addition to variation in differentiation propensities, potentialdeviations in T1D disease onset and progression will require the generation ofmultiple DiPS lines to reflect the human population afflicted with T1D” (Maehret. al, 2009). It is said that T1D is not exactly the same in everyone who hasit. But, it is concluded that DiPS cells can be differentiated to insulin producing/glucose-responsivecells. Differentiation of DiPS cells to b-cells is important for the long-termpossibility of autologous (obtained from same organism) cell replacement therapyand also for disease modeling (Maehr et. al, 2009).
After several more months of observations following thetransplantation, the grafts continued to respond to glucose injections, andhigh amounts of human insulin were detected. The SC-b cells were also able tomaintain euglycemia (normal concentration of glucose in the blood) after thedestruction of the all mouse b-cells. The SC-b cells continued to secrete humaninsulin in response to glucose injections, and rapidly clear glucose as well.This data shows the efficiency of continued function for more than five months in vivo (taking place in a living organism).In conclusion of this research, T1D SC-b cell function is very similar to NDSC-b cell function both in vitro and in vivo (Millman et. al, 2016). Theseresults present the possibility of using the T1D SC-b cells as successfultreatment of diabetes, further study b-cell biology, and stem cells. Generating stem cell derived b-cells (SC-b cell) from T1Dpatients was the first step in the process of finding a potential cure fordiabetes.
This was done by deriving and characterizing human inducedpluripotent stem cells from skin fibroblasts (cells that generate connectivetissue) of patient donors. The cells were then adapted to suspension culture toundergo differentiation to produce SC-b cells. T1D SC-b cells increased insulinsecretion in response to many anti-diabetic drugs.
It is also shown that thosecells respond to different types of chemically induced stress. A treatment of asmall molecule was used to partially rescue this stress phenotype. In doing so,an in vitro (taking place outside ofany living organism) disease model of T1D SC- b cell stress was developed.
“To evaluate theirpotential use in cell replacement therapy and in vivo physiologicaltests and further confirm their identity as SC-? cells, T1D and ND SC-? cellswere transplanted underneath the kidney capsule of ND immunocompromised mice”(Millman et. al, 2016). To test transplantation of the stem cells and furtherresponses after, both T1D and ND SC-b cells were transplanted into mice. Theirresponses to certain tests were observed and compared to determine similarities.Measuring human insulin to evaluate graft function before and after a glucoseinjection of the mice presented the first set of results of the stem cells. Humaninsulin was detected and the grafts were glucose responsive in most of themice. In the T1D SC-b cell mice, 81% secreted more insulin after the glucoseinjection, The ND SC-b cells mice had 77% secrete more insulin.
Therefore, nomajor differences between the two cells were actually observed (Millman et. al,2016). Human embryonic stem cells have the capability todifferentiate into any cell type. With damage caused at one particular celltype, type 1 diabetes is a good candidate for stem cell therapy. Around 5-10%of diabetes cases are type 1 (“Diabetes,” n.d.). Unfortunately, it is difficultto study it in human patients because once it is diagnosed, destruction of theb-cells is nearly complete with no way to discover what caused the immunesystem to attack them in the first place.
Furthermore, stem cells couldpossibly differentiate into b-cells while responding to molecular signals inthe pancreatic environment, which would eventually be introduced into the body.They would migrate to the damaged tissue and further differentiate to maintainb-cell mass. Stem cell therapy would benefit those with type 1 by replenishingthose b-cells that were destroyed by the autoimmune processes. This methodcould eventually be beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes as the failingb-cells caused by the disease could be replaced, which is one step closer to acure. Overall, type 1 diabetes stem cells can be used to further study diabetesand cell replacement therapy (Goldthwaite, 2016).Diabetes affects around250 million people worldwide and is the sixth leading cause of death in the UnitedStates.
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 (T1D) and Type 2 (T2D). Type 1diabetes develops when the body’s immune system deviates from its normal roleand destroys the insulin-producing beta cells (b-cells) of the pancreas. Type 2diabetes is more common but can be more preventable than type 1. It ischaracterized by two things: insulin resistance and subsequent progressivedecline in b-cell function. Insulin resistance is a condition in which tissuesin the body no longer respond to insulin action.
The decline in b-cell functioncontinues to the point that the cells no longer produce enough insulin toovercome the insulin resistance. Diabetes may lead to other complications inthe body including increased risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease,blindness, and amputations. At the moment, there is no cure, diabetes can onlybe managed. But with new technology such as embryonic or induced pluripotent stemcells, there is a possibility to cure at the least, Type 1 diabetes(Goldthwaite, 2016).