A  A  A   Print
Type 1 Diabetes Hope: Animal-to-Human Cell Transplants

Type 1 Diabetes Hope: Animal-to-Human Cell Transplants

FRIDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. scientists who successfully transplanted insulin-producing islet cells from rats to mice say it is the first step toward animal-to-human transplant of islet cells for people with type 1 diabetes.

The researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Illinois developed a method that prevented the mice from rejecting the rats' islet cells without the use of drugs to suppress their immune system.

The study was published online July 12 in the journal Diabetes.

"This is the first time that an interspecies transplant of islet cells has been achieved for an indefinite period of time without the use of immunosuppressive drugs. It's a big step forward," co-senior study author Stephen Miller, a research professor of microbiology and immunology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a Northwestern news release.

Their ultimate goal is to be able to transplant pig islets into humans, said the other co-senior author, Dr. Xunrong Luo. "But we have to take baby steps," said Luo, medical director of the human islet cell transplantation program at Northwestern Memorial. "Pig islets produce insulin that controls blood sugar in humans."

People with type 1 diabetes don't produce insulin. A transplant of insulin-producing islets from a deceased donor can help control type 1 diabetes, but there is a severe shortage of islet cells from deceased donors. Many patients on waiting lists don't receive the transplant or suffer heart, nerve, eye and kidney damage while they wait.

Using islets from another species would enable more people to receive transplants. However, concerns about controlling rejection of transplants from a different species have made that approach seem impossible until now.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about type 1 diabetes.

SOURCE: Northwestern Medicine, news release, July 12, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.