Transplanted β cells rapidly restore glucose tolerance in mice

April 9, 2019 0 By FM

Leonardo Velazco-Cruz et al demonstrated a breakthrough study by converting human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into stem cell-derived β cells (SC-β cells) as a promising alternative source for diabetes cell replacement therapy. The researchers developed functioning healthy SC-β cells in vitro using an enriched serum-free media. On transplanting them into mice, the cells began to produce insulin and respond to blood sugar within days. Researchers introduced a new differentiation strategy which focused on modulating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signaling. This helps in controlling cellular cluster size, and express β cell markers and undergo GSIS (glucose stimulated-insulin secretion). The capacity of these cells to undergo GSIS with dynamic insulin release makes them a promising cell source for diabetes cellular therapy. This study provides insights into the role of TGF-β signaling in functional maturation where TGF-β inhibition has been shown to promote the replication of the cells. This helped protect against stress-induced loss of the phenotype and reduced apoptosis in a mouse model, which give hope
for developing a potential cure for treating type 1 diabetes in the near future.

Source: Stem Cell Reports | VOLUME 12, ISSUE 2, P351-365, FEBRUARY 12, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2018.12.012