Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Xenotransplantation as a therapy for type 1 diabetes

24.04.2012
Pig beta cells show great promise in an animal model

Type 1 diabetes is caused by autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells. Over 250,000 patients suffer from type 1 diabetes in Germany who are treated with daily insulin injections to maintain glucose metabolism.

Replacement of the destroyed beta cells by transplantation of either a complete pancreas organ or isolated human beta cells is the only effective way to cure the disease.

However, due to the shortage of organ donors this method can be offered to only few patients. As an alternative approach researchers are exploring xenotransplantation, i.e. transplantation of the organ from another species.

The most obvious barrier in xenotransplantation is the strong immune rejection against the transplant. A research team led by LMU’s Professor Eckhard Wolf and Professor Jochen Seissler has now generated a genetically modified strain of pigs whose beta-cells restores glucose homeostasis and inhibit human-anti-pig immune reaction. So far, the efficacy of this approach has been demonstrated only in an experimental mouse model.

“Whether the strategy will work in humans remains to be demonstrated,” says Professor Wolf. “Nevertheless, we consider the approach as very promising and plan to test it further in other settings.”

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction which ultimately leads to the destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, and usually becomes manifest during adolescence. Thereafter, insulin must be administered by regular insulin injections. Since insulin therapy cannot reproduce the complex pattern of physiologically controlled insulin secretion, patients are at risk of hypoglycemia and many patients develop severe vascular complications such as myocardial infarction or stroke.

Transplantation of a healthy pancreas or pancreatic beta cells that synthesize insulin may represent the best treatment option. Unfortunately, the availability of donor organs falls far short of requirements. Over the course of the last several years, fewer than 200 pancreas transplantations have been carried out. “Pigs represent a possible alternative source, because glucose metabolism in this species is very similar to that in human beings,” Professor Seissler points out.
Pig insulin differs from its counterpart in humans at only a single amino acid, and has been used successfully in the treatment of diabetic patients for decades. However, pig cells inevitably provoke an immune reaction leading to the destruction of the transplanted tissue. One way of avoiding this difficulty is to encapsulate the foreign tissue in a biologically inert material that is permeable to insulin but not to cells of the immune system. However, the drawback of this approach is the restricted supply of oxygen and essential nutrients to the transplanted cells, thereby reducing its lifespan.

Wolf and his team chose a different route. For the first time they generated genetically modified pigs that express the protein LEA29Y specifically in beta cells. LEA29Y effectively inhibits the activation of a class of immune cells that are required to initiate a rejection reaction. The researchers then transplanted these cells into a diabetic mouse strain that has a humanized immune system. Seissler’s group showed that these mice were able to restore glucose metabolism and were protected form human-anti-pig rejection. As Wolf is quick to point out, “It is not yet clear whether this will also work in humans. However, we will now attempt to validate the effects of this very promising approach using beta-cells expressing immune modulators in other transplantation models.” suwe

Publication:
„Xenografted Islet Cell Clusters From INSLEA29Y Transgenic Pigs Rescue Diabetes and Prevent Immune Rejection in Humanized Mice”
Nikolai Klymiuk, Lelia van Buerck, Andrea Bahr, Monika Offers, Barbara Kessler, Annegret Wuensch, Mayuko Kurome, Michael Thormann, Katharina Lochner, Hiroshi Nagashima, Nadja Herbach, Rudiger Wanke, Jochen Seissler, and Eckhard Wolf
Diabetes online, 20. April 2012
http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/db11-1325v1?papetoc

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf
Chair of Molecular Animal Genetics and Biotechnology
Genzentrum, LMU Munich
Email: ewolf@lmb.uni-muenchen.de

Prof. Dr. Jochen Seissler
Diabetes Center
Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV – Campus Innenstadt
Email: Jochen.Seissler@med.uni-muenchen.de

Dr. Kathrin Bilgeri | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lmu.de

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>