Stem cell therapy for diabetes Essay

Diabetess Mellitus

Diabetess mellitus types 1 and 2 are chronic metabolic diseases caused by an addition in blood glucose degrees, besides known as hyperglycemia.

Presently there are around two million instances of diabetes mellitus in the UK, bing the NHS about & amp ; lb ; 1 million per hr ( Nursing in pattern, 2008 ) . In the US there are an estimated 15 million people diagnosed with diabetes and it is the 7th biggest cause of decease ( NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

Type 1

Is an car immune disease where by the persons own immune system fails to separate between self from non-self. This leads to the devastation of the Islets of Langerhans insulin bring forthing & A ; szlig ; -cells, which are located in the pancreas ( Nursing times, 2009 ) .

Type 2

Most common signifier of diabetes mellitus, impacting about 90 % of all diabetes sick persons.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with either a low production of insulin or insulin opposition, which is characterised by an unequal response to glucose degrees in the blood. Although the causes of Type 2 diabetes are ill-defined, there are a figure of hazard factors associated with it such as fleshiness, age and familial traits ( Nursing times, 2009 ) .


Presently there is no remedy for diabetes mellitus. The widely accepted intervention for Type 1 diabetes is day-to-day or multiple day-to-day injections of insulin into the organic structure. The person ‘s blood glucose degrees must be monitored several times a twenty-four hours by transporting out a asshole blood trial ( Nursing times, 2009 ) .

The intervention nevertheless fails to adequately set blood glucose degrees, which could take to a hazard of hypoglycemia ( Nursing times, 2009 ) .

Pancreass and Isles of Langerhans

The pancreas consist of three different types of cells ; hormone, ductal and acinous cells. The islets of Langerhans are comprised of hormone bunchs situated throughout the pancreas. Endocrine cells secrete four chief endocrines including insulin & A ; szlig ; -cells, glucagon a-cells, somatostatin delta cells and pancreatic polypeptide PP cells.

Isles are comprised of around 80 % & A ; szlig ; -cells, 15 % a-cells, around 4 % delta cells and 1 % PP cells ( Docherty et al. , 2007 ) .

Potential remedies for diabetes mellitus

Pancreass Grafts

Whole pancreas and Islet of Langerhans organ transplants have been seen as a possible remedy for Type 1 diabetes. Around 1500 diabetes patients are given pancreas grafts per twelvemonth. Graft rates have been successful with around 80 % of patients exhibiting no farther symptoms of diabetes and are able to modulate blood glucose concentrations. However due to the deficiency of available givers, and the addition hazard of infection from immunosuppressant drugs, besides the possibility of complications during surgery, means that pancreas grafts are non a suited remedy for everyone with diabetes.

Due to the increased susceptibleness of undertaking other diseases while on immunosuppressor ‘s, many grafts are merely carried out on patients that besides require a kidney graft.

Islet of Langerhans grafts

In recent old ages islet organ transplant protocols have been established as an effectual option to whole pancreas grafts. Islet cells are transplanted into the patient by shooting the cells into the hepatic portal vena ( Sameer et al. , 2006 ) .

In 1999 James Shapiro et Al in Edmonton, Canada devised the ‘Edmonton Protocol ‘ . The protocol was developed to cut down the demand for steroid immunosuppressor ‘s, which reduced the success of old islet graft tests. Islet cells were injected in two extracts to present a big dosage of cells to the liver without the demand for steroid base immunosuppressors ( Sameer et al. , 2006 ; NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

In 2006 islet transfusions were given to around 500 patients around the universe. Although the Edmonton protocol has delivered positive consequences, there are nevertheless restrictions. Around 80 % of patients were insulin dependant after merely five old ages due to low transplant endurance rates. The grafts still require immunosuppressors, although reduced to forestall islet rejection. Current immunosuppressors are unable to forestall transplant rejections and have possible side effects, such as nephrotoxicity and an addition in infections due to a suppressed immune system. Islet cells are obtained from two giver tissues and must be fresh, which is major disadvantage due to the deficiency of sufficient givers and the costs involved. Grafts may besides ensue in portal vena conditions and thrombosis. The metabolic conditions of the liver have besides been identified as a possible cause of decreased transplant endurance ( NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

The Edmonton protocol has highlighted the potency of utilizing islet cell transfusions to handle diabetes. However due to the deficiency of sufficient giver ‘s alternate beginnings of insulin releasing cells are required.

Cell based therapies

Alternate methods are required to replace bing donor pancreas cells with a renewable supply of insulin releasing endocrinal cells.

Stem cells have received considerable attending as a possible supply of islet cells due to their pluripotency capablenesss.

Stem cells

Embryonic root cells ( ESC )

Human ESC ‘s were foremost isolated and maintained in 1998 by James Thompson et Al.

ESC ‘s are uniform, exhibit pluripotency and are obtained from the inner cell mass of blastodermic vessicles ( NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

Five twenty-four hours old embryos consist of a hollow ball of 30-150 cells known as blastodermic vessicle. The blastodermic vessicle comprises three chief constructions: the blastocele ; a fluid filled pit, the trophectoderm ; bed of environing cells and the inner cell mass ; which is a aggregation of around 30 cells situated at one terminal of the blastodermic vessicle ( NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

The embryo is developed from the in vitro fertilization of human giver eggs. The oocyte ( egg ) is fertilised in vitro organizing a fertilized ovum. By 24 hours the fertilized ovum divides into two cells ( embryo ) . At 72 hours the embryo comprises eight cells known as a morula. By twenty-four hours four the cells adhere to one another organizing a blastocele. Day five embryos consisting of around 250 cells are used as the beginning of ESC ‘s. The trophectoderm is removed through immunosurgery or microsurgery to enable the cells to be extracted from the inner cell mass ( NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

The Inner Cell Mass ( ICM )

Human embryologic root cells are isolated by turning ICM cells in a civilization of mouse fibroblasts known as “ feeder cells ” , bovine serum, cytokines and LIF. The feeder bed provides a surface to which the ICM cells can attach. Current human ESC ‘s culturing techniques are inefficient. New methods of culturing are required to advance the growing of ESC ‘s. The add-on of growing factors such as bFGF could replace the current usage of serum, and the usage of a protein matrix will let for a feeder free civilization, due to the hazards of pathogens and viruses from mouse cells ( NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

ESC ‘s have the ability to distinguish into many different cell types and in multiple Numberss, when grown on a civilization incorporating specialist media.

These factors make ESC ‘s ideal campaigners for insulin releasing hormone cell regenerators.

Research has identified that ESC ‘s develop through a scope of different stairss before going differentiated islet cells ( Docherty et al. , 2007 ) . Undifferentiated root cells are cultured on a individual bed of media incorporating activin A and wnt3a ; this stimulates root cell distinction to a unequivocal entoderm ( DE ) ( Docherty et al. , 2007 ) . Addition of FGF10, RA and CYC induce development of DE to a posterior foregut. Notch Y secretase and inhibitor DAPI induce the formation pancreatic entoderm and eventually islet precursors ( Docherty et al. , 2007 ) .

A assortment of endocrines are required to bring on islet precursor cell distinction to islets of langerhans ( Docherty et al. , 2007 ) .

Adult root cells ( ASC )

Discovered in the 1950 ‘s, ASC ‘s are uniform cells located in specific parts of tissues and variety meats known as the “ root cell niche. ” ASC ‘s occur in little Numberss, amongst other specializer cells ( NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

The cells are pluripotent and are able to distinguish into a assortment of specialized cells, with the chief function of care, fix and reclamation. ASC ‘s have been indentified in a figure of different human tissues and variety meats, such as bone marrow, which contains two types of root cells haematopoietic and mesenchymal. Stem cells are besides found in the encephalon, blood, bosom, liver, tegument, skeletal musculus and testicle. ASC ‘s can stay in a non dividing signifier for long periods of clip. Once activated the cells divide and differentiate into cells with the same features and specialist capablenesss of other mature cells in the tissue or organ ( NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

It was originally thought that ASC ‘s had a narrow capacity to distinguish into cell types other than the expected tissue or organ line of descent with which they are located. Research has identified that bone marrow root cells have an unbelievable capacity to distinguish into many cell types known as transdifferentiation. Further research in mice has shown that a individual root cell transplant can renew cell blood line of descents and distinguish into multiple cell types. Brain root cells have found to be able to distinguish into a broad assortment of cell types and can renew the haematopoietic system ( NIH Stem Cell, 2001 ) .

Islet cells can besides be generated from ASC ‘s located in the pancreatic canal, pancreas, liver and bone marrow ( Sameer et al. , 2006 ) .

Undifferentiated root cells are located with other mature differentiated cells in the pancreatic canal. Susan Bonner-Weir et Al generated bunchs incorporating insulin releasing cells from pancreatic canal root cells. The bunchs besides exhibited the ability to let go of insulin when provided with high concentrations of glucose ( Sameer et al. , 2006 ) . Presently there are no constituted canal root cell lines due the inability to proliferate indefinitely.

There is besides the possibility of utilizing pancreas and liver root cells. Much of the research carried out on pancreas stem cells has been to turn & amp ; szlig ; -cells and non the islets themselves. Research carried out on diabetic gnawers discovered that the gnawers were wholly free of diabetes when transplanted with pancreatic root cells ( Sameer et al. , 2006 ) .

Stem cells from bone marrow have great possible due to their ability to distinguish into a broad assortment of specialized cells. Research by banerjee et Al found that bone marrow transplants were able to renew damaged cells and distinguish into pancreatic hormone cells ( Sameer et al. , 2006 ) .


A important sum of research has been carried out in relation to diabetes mellitus and a possible remedy. Stem cells will go an of import portion of handling diabetes and other diseases in the hereafter.

There are nevertheless certain countries that need farther research such the usage of immunosuppressor ‘s and the jobs with autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes.