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Insulin Producing Cells Derived From Stem Cells: A Potential Treatment For Diabetes

868 words - 4 pages

Insulin-producing cells derived from stem cells: A potential treatment for diabetes
Insulin was discovered over 75 years ago, however the complications of diabetes still produce devastating results (Bonner-Weir et al., 2006). Such complications are retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy which link between high blood glucose levels are now established beyond doubt (Bonner-Weir et al., 2006). Thus, β-cell replacement therapy in the form of transplantation would be a great path to prevent the complications. “Β-cell is defined as a cell with the phenotype of a mature insulin-producing cell found in pancreatic islets”(Bonner-Weir et al., 2006, p.411). Nevertheless, the supply of ...view middle of the document...

Wang et al. (2012) stated that, one of the abundant source of adult stem cells is bone marrow. According to Weir et al. (2006), there is high possibility in circulating bone marrow cells could serve as precursors for a wide variety of cells scattered throughout the body. Cells other than true hematopoietic stem cells derived from bone marrow can serve as circulating stem or precursor cells. It has recently been shown that impressive repopulation of destroyed liver tissue can be generated from bone marrow cells. In addition, rather than a precursor, bone marrow cells could contribute to new β–cell formation as a facilitator Bonner-Weir et al., 2006, p.411). Moreover, current study suggests that bone marrow contains pluripotent cells that are capable of being reprogrammed in order to differentiate into insulin-producing cells (Wang et al., 2012).
Next, liver also works as a source of insulin-producing cells. Liver cells not only secreted insulin in a regulated manner but also reversed diabetes when transplanted into immunodifficient diabetic mice (Bonner-Weir et al., 2006, p.416). Pandey (2010) stated that, the liver appear to arise from the same cell population located within the embryonic endoderm during embryogenesis. Assumption has been done where the epithelial cell populations within the liver might share common stem cell populations (Pandey, 2010). Thus, another source for β-cells would be liver stem cells. “Upon transplantation into diabetic mice, these cells become functional insulin-producing cells and restore euglycemia” (Pandey, 2010). Therefore, liver cells could be used as another clinically relevant source of precursors for the generation...

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