Gut Cells of Mice Transformed into Insulin-Producers

March 12, 2012

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The goal of a therapy for type 1 diabetes is restoration of regulated insulin secretion.  A newly published study, conducted by Chutima Talchai, PhD, and Domenico Accili, MD, professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, found insulin secretion in unexpected place – the gut.  The researchers discovered that certain progenitor cells in the intestine of mice have the  ability to make insulin-producing cells.  When the researchers turned off a certain gene — Foxo1 — the progenitor cells also generated insulin-producing cells.  According to a report in ScienceDaily, ” The insulin made by the gut cells also was released into the bloodstream, worked as well as normal insulin, and was made in sufficient quantity to nearly normalize blood glucose levels in otherwise diabetic mice.”

For the press release see here.

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