Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Type 1 diabetes: Grow your own transplant? Human testes cells turned into insulin-producing islet cells

Date:
December 13, 2010
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
Men with type 1 diabetes may be able to grow their own insulin-producing cells from their testicular tissue, say researchers. Their laboratory and animal study is a proof of principle that human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) extracted from testicular tissue can morph into insulin-secreting beta islet cells normally found in the pancreas. And the researchers say they accomplished this feat without use of any of the extra genes now employed in most labs to turn adult stem cells into a tissue of choice.

Rendering of human digestive system, with pancreas highlighted.
Credit: iStockphoto/David Marchal

Men with type 1 diabetes may be able to grow their own insulin-producing cells from their testicular tissue, say Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) researchers who presented their findings Dec. 12 at the American Society of Cell Biology 50th annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Their laboratory and animal study is a proof of principle that human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) extracted from testicular tissue can morph into insulin-secreting beta islet cells normally found in the pancreas. And the researchers say they accomplished this feat without use of any of the extra genes now employed in most labs to turn adult stem cells into a tissue of choice.

"No stem cells, adult or embryonic, have been induced to secrete enough insulin yet to cure diabetes in humans, but we know SSCs have the potential to do what we want them to do, and we know how to improve their yield," says the study's lead investigator, G. Ian Gallicano, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Director of the Transgenic Core Facility at GUMC.

Given continuing progress, Gallicano says his strategy could provide a unique solution to treatment of individuals with type 1 diabetes (juvenile onset diabetes). Several novel therapies have been tried for these patients, but each has drawbacks. Transplanting islet cells from deceased donors can result in rejection, plus few such donations are available. Researchers have also cured diabetes in mice using induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells -- adult stem cells that have been reprogrammed with other genes to behave like embryonic stem cells -- but this technique can produce teratomas, or tumors, in transfected tissue, as well as problems stemming from the external genes used to create IPS cells, Gallicano says.

Instead of using IPS cells, the researchers turned to a readily available source of stem cells, the SSCs that are the early precursors to sperm cells. They retrieved these cells from deceased human organ donors.

Because SSCs already have the genes necessary to become embryonic stem cells, it is not necessary to add any new genes to coax them to morph into these progenitor cells, Gallicano says. "These are male germ cells as well as adult stem cells."

"We found that once you take these cells out of the testes niche, they get confused, and will form all three germ layers within several weeks," he says. "These are true, pluripotent stem cells."

The research team took 1 gram of tissue from human testes and produced about 1 million stem cells in the laboratory. These cells showed many of the biological markers that characterize normal beta islet cells.

They then transplanted those cells into the back of immune deficient diabetic mice, and were able to decrease glucose levels in the mice for about a week -- demonstrating the cells were producing enough insulin to reduce hyperglycemia.

While the effect lasted only week, Gallicano says newer research has shown the yield can be substantially increased.

The research was funded in part by the American Diabetes Association, patient contributions to the GUMC Office of Advancement, support from GUMC diabetes specialist Stephen Clement, M.D., and a grant from GUMC.

Co-authors include Anirudh Saraswathula, a student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va. GUMC researchers Shenglin Chen Ph.D., Stephen Clement, M.D., Martin Dym, Ph.D., and Asif Zakaria, Ph.D., also contributed to the research. The authors report having no personal financial interests related to the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Type 1 diabetes: Grow your own transplant? Human testes cells turned into insulin-producing islet cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101212121739.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2010, December 13). Type 1 diabetes: Grow your own transplant? Human testes cells turned into insulin-producing islet cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101212121739.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Type 1 diabetes: Grow your own transplant? Human testes cells turned into insulin-producing islet cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101212121739.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins