Insulin from Mini Stomach

INSULIN from mini stomach

Stomach tissue can be reprogrammed to mimic insulin-producing pancreatic cells and control diabetes when implanted into mice.

A certain type of cell in one part of the stomach has similar gene-expression patterns to β-cells, which make insulin in the pancreas. Qiao Zhou at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his colleagues reprogrammed these cells using a mix of key DNA-binding proteins, and found that more than 40% formed insulin-producing cells. The reprogrammed cells developed into stomach mini-organs (pictured) that, when transplanted into mice lacking β-cells, prevented spikes in blood sugar levels and kept animals alive for 6 months compared to untreated mice, which died within 8 weeks.

The results suggest that the stomach could serve as a renewable source of β-cells to treat diabetes, the authors say.Cell Stem Cell (2016)

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