Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Gutsy Step Forward for Diabetes

Researchers at Columbia University’s Berrie Diabetes center may have found a way to treat people with type 1 diabetes using gastrointestinal (GI) cells. Dr. Accli’s lab has recently replicated a study previously conducted that used diabetic mice treated with genetically engineered GI cells. The study showed by turning off only a single gene, FOX01, GI cells became insulin-producing cells that could almost normalize a diabetic mouse’s glucose levels. The experiment proved successful with humans as well. By turning off FOX01, GI cells proved to be a more feasible option than insulin-producing cells created from embryonic and adult stem cells. This is due to the fact that the converted cells were able to release insulin only as a response to glucose levels. Dr. Accli is hopeful for a drug that can be used to inhibit FOX01 in GI cells to treat diabetics. Article

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