Scientists have cured diabetes in mice for the first time using converted human cells in a breakthrough research. This could be a potential cure for approximately 500 million diabetics worldwide suffering from the disease.
According to the findings by the researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, published online on February 24 in the journal Nature Biotechnology, scientists used human cell strategy to invent the cure. The technique converts human cells into insulin-producing cells through which the blood sugar levels can be controlled.
Jeffrey R. Millman, the lead researcher on the study and assistant professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at Washington University, explained the phenomenon in the published document saying, “These mice had very severe diabetes with blood sugar readings of more than 500 milligrams per deciliter of blood.” He further added, “that is the levels which could be fatal for a person — but when we gave the mice the insulin-secreting cells, within two weeks their blood glucose levels had returned to normal and stayed that way for many months”.
These mice had very severe diabetes with blood sugar readings of more than 500 milligrams per decilitre of blood – levels that could be fatal for a person," explains biomedical engineer Jeffrey R. Millman from Washington University.— Dr. Thomas Hoke (@hoke_thomas) February 26, 2020
Researchers made one such similar discovery in the past about how the human stem cells could be converted to beta cells that make insulin. The previous findings, however, hadn’t proved to be effective in controlling diabetes in Mice.
“A common problem when you’re trying to transform a human stem cell into an insulin-producing beta cell — or a neuron or a heart cell —is that you also produce other cells that you don’t want”, Jeffery explained in his published research. “In case of Beta-cell production this time, scientists got liver cells that stayed neutral and didn’t create obstacle in body’s combat against diabetes”, Jeffery further elaborated.
This strategy, however, needed more research before it could be used on people as per the journal. The cells are required to be tested for over a longer period of time in a wider animal model to produce insulin injection to curb the disease in humans, according to the published study.
(With agency inputs)