Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human stem cells used to reveal mechanisms of beta-cell failure in diabetes

Date:
November 13, 2013
Source:
Columbia University Medical Center
Summary:
Scientists have used stem cells created from the skin of patients with a rare form of diabetes — Wolfram syndrome — to elucidate an important biochemical pathway for beta-cell failure in diabetes.

Insulin-producing beta cells produced from skin cells of individuals with a rare form of diabetes, Wolfram syndrome.
Credit: Linshan Shang, PhD, the New York Stem Cell Foundation.

Scientists from the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have used stem cells created from the skin of patients with a rare form of diabetes -- Wolfram syndrome -- to elucidate an important biochemical pathway for beta-cell failure in diabetes. The findings by Linshan Shang and colleagues were published today in Diabetes.

Related Articles


Scientists from NYSCF produced induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from skin samples from individuals with a rare form of diabetes, Wolfram syndrome. They then derived insulin-producing cells (beta cells) from these iPS cells, creating a human diabetes model in vitro. Next, they showed that the beta cells failed to normally secrete insulin because of protein-folding -- or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) -- stress. They found that a chemical, 4-phenyl butyric acid, that relieves this stress, prevents the cells from failing, suggesting a potential target for clinical intervention.

"These cells represent an important mechanism that causes beta-cell failure in diabetes. This human iPS cell model represents a significant step forward in enabling the study of this debilitating disease and the development of new treatments," said Dieter Egli, PhD, principal investigator of the study, and Senior Research Fellow at NYSCF and NYSCF-Robertson Stem Cell Investigator.

Wolfram syndrome is a rare, often fatal genetic disorder characterized by the development of insulin-dependent diabetes, vision loss, and deafness. Since all forms of diabetes are ultimately the result of an inability of pancreatic beta cells to provide sufficient insulin in response to blood sugar concentrations, this Wolfram patient stem cell model enables analysis of a specific pathway leading to beta-cell failure in more prevalent forms of diabetes. It also enables the testing of strategies to restore beta-cell function that may be applicable to all types of diabetes.

"Utilizing stem cell technology, we were able to study a devastating condition to better understand what causes the diabetes symptoms as well as discover possible new drug targets," said Susan L. Solomon, co-founder and chief executive officer of The New York Stem Cell Foundation.

"This report highlights again the utility of close examination of rare human disorders as a path to elucidating more common ones," said co-author Rudolph L. Leibel, MD, the Christopher J. Murphy Professor of Diabetes Research and co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at CUMC. "Our ability to create functional insulin-producing cells using stem cell techniques on skin cells from patients with Wolfram's syndrome has helped to uncover the role of ER stress in the pathogenesis of diabetes. The use of drugs that reduce such stress may prove useful in the prevention and treatment of diabetes."

Clinicians from the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center recruited Wolfram syndrome patients to donate a skin sample. All Wolfram patients had childhood-onset diabetes requiring treatment with injected insulin, and all had vision loss. Additional cell lines were obtained from Coriell Institute for Medical Research. The researchers at NYSCF "reprogrammed," or reverted, the skin cells to an embryonic-like state to become iPS cells. An iPS cell line generated from a healthy individual was used as a normal control.

The researchers differentiated the iPS cells from the Wolfram subjects and the controls into beta cells, an intricate process that took several weeks. They implanted both Wolfram and control iPS cell-derived beta cells under the kidney capsule of immuno-compromised mice. Beta cells from the Wolfram subjects produced less insulin in the culture dish and secreted less insulin into the bloodstream of the mice when they were challenged with high blood-sugar levels.

A key finding was that these beta cells showed elevated markers of ER stress. Treatment with 4-phenyl butyric acid reduced the ER stress and increased the amount of insulin produced by the beta cells, thereby increasing the ability to secrete insulin in response to glucose.

Direct evidence in mice, as well as circumstantial evidence in humans with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, highlights the role of the ER stress response mechanism in the survival of insulin-producing beta cells. The ER stress response mechanisms oppose both the stress of immune assault in type 1 diabetes and the metabolic stress of high blood glucose in both types of diabetes. When the ER stress response fails cell death occurs, potentially reducing the number of insulin-producing cells.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Linshan Shang, Haiqing Hua, Kylie Foo, Hector Martinez, Kazuhisa Watanabe, Matthew Zimmer, David J Kahler, Matthew Freeby, Wendy Chung, Charles Leduc, Robin Goland, Rudolph L. Leibel, and Dieter Egli. Beta cell dysfunction due to increased ER stress in a stem cell model of Wolfram syndrome. Diabetes, November 2013

Cite This Page:

Columbia University Medical Center. "Human stem cells used to reveal mechanisms of beta-cell failure in diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113102046.htm>.
Columbia University Medical Center. (2013, November 13). Human stem cells used to reveal mechanisms of beta-cell failure in diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113102046.htm
Columbia University Medical Center. "Human stem cells used to reveal mechanisms of beta-cell failure in diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113102046.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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