Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bone marrow stem cells are a source of insulin-producing cells

17.03.2003


Study may open way to using bone marrow stem cells as diabetes treatment

In a finding that may open a new avenue to treating diabetes, researchers show that cells from the bone marrow give rise to insulin-producing cells in the pancreas of mice. These morphed cells actually produce the hormone insulin in response to glucose and display other characteristics demonstrating that they truly function as pancreas cells, according to a new study by researchers from NYU School of Medicine.

The study is published in the March 14 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The researchers caution that the findings cannot be applied to treating diabetics now, but may one day provide a means to produce unlimited quantities of functional insulin-producing cells culled from the bone marrow of diabetes patients. Since patients would produce their own cells for transplantation, it is possible that the cells would not be rejected by their immune system.



"Clearly much work remains to be done," says Mehboob A. Hussain, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, who led the study. "But I am absolutely excited by the potential applications of our findings," he says. "In our body, there is an additional, easily accessible source of cells that are capable of becoming insulin-producing pancreatic endocrine cells. Transplantation of bone marrow stem cells already is a routine procedure for treating cancer and other diseases, and we could build on that experience."

Dr. Hussain’s study is described as "elegant" in an accompanying editorial by Drs. Vivian Lee and Markus Stoffel, two diabetes researchers from The Rockefeller University, published in the same issue of the journal. Dr. Hussain used a molecular biology technique called "CRE-loxP" that allowed him to identify and isolate bone marrow derived cells and to study them more closely than had previously been possible.

One of the longstanding goals of diabetes research is to find a way to replace the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas that are damaged or destroyed in some forms of diabetes. These cells are called beta cells and they are found in cell groups called islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. In recent years doctors have reported that they successfully transplanted pancreatic islets from cadavers into some severely ill diabetics, most of whom were subsequently freed from daily insulin shots. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels. Immunosuppressive drugs were required to prevent rejection of the transplants.

However, the supply of islets from cadavers is extremely limited, so medical researchers are looking elsewhere. Several research groups have reported that embryonic stem cells and cells found in the pancreas (other than beta cells) could be converted into insulin-producing cells, but until now no one had specifically explored the bone marrow as a source of beta cells. (The bone marrow normally replenishes blood cells and in recent years researchers have shown that stem cells from the marrow can become cells of other organs.)

The CRE-loxP system is a sort of DNA editing technique that molecular biologists widely employ to engineer genes. In the new study, Dr. Hussain used the system to ingeniously create male mice with bone marrow cells that produce a protein called enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) only in the presence of activated insulin genes, which are typically found in pancreatic beta cells. EGFP imparts a green glow to cells, which makes it easy to identify them. He then transplanted the bone marrow from these males into female mice whose bone marrow had been destroyed by radiation.

After four to six weeks, Dr. Hussain detected a small number of the glowing green cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans of the female mice. Further analysis showed that these cells came from the bone marrow and functioned as the insulin-producing beta cells. These cells all contained the Y chromosome, which could only have come from the male donor. The cells also secreted insulin in response to glucose, one of the signatures of pancreatic beta cells, and exhibited electrical activity and other properties of beta cells.

Moreover, a second set of experiments showed that these bone marrow derived cells were unlikely to be a result of cells fusing together. Some researchers have suggested that the conversion of stem cells into differentiated tissue is not real, but is due to artifacts of experimental design produced by the fusion of Y chromosome-bearing cells with host cells already present in the tissue. However, in the second set of experiments, Dr. Hussain used the CRE-loxP system to demonstrate that transplanted Y-chromosome bone marrow stem cells are not fusing with pancreas cells in female recipient mice.

Despite the promising results, there are caveats to the study. Only 1.7 to 3 percent of beta cells in the pancreas of the female mice came from transformed bone-marrow stem cells, a small number, and it isn’t known which subpopulation of stem cells in the bone marrow are the actual source of insulin-producing cells. Furthermore, it isn’t known what happens in diabetic mice after bone marrow transplantation. Dr. Hussain has proceeded with similar studies in diabetic mice and with experiments that could help clarify how bone marrow stem cells become beta cells in the pancreas.

"Our study isn’t the final proof," says Dr. Hussain. "We still need to find out how well these converted cells are functioning compared to indigenous beta cells in the pancreas. A lot more work needs to be done. Nevertheless, our study demonstrates the potential for using the bone marrow as a source of insulin-producing cells."


The experiments in the study were performed at NYU School of Medicine and Dr. Hussain’s co-authors are Drs. I. Andreea Ianus, George G. Holz and Neil D. Theise. The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Pamela McDonnell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.med.nyu.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit
21.08.2017 | Hokkaido University

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>