Adult Stem Cells May Treat Diabetes
In Lab Tests, Human Adult Stem Cells Increased Insulin in Mice With High Blood Sugar
Nov. 8, 2006 -- Adult stem cells from human bone marrow may help treat type
That's the early finding from lab tests on diabetic mice. Tests on people
haven't been done.
The mouse studies are summed up in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences.
Researchers included biochemistry professor Darwin Prockop, MD, PhD, who
directs Tulane University's Center for Gene Therapy.
The researchers studied male mice with high blood sugar like that in type 2
Half the mice received two injections of adult stem cells taken from human
bone marrow. With their defective immune systems, the mice didn't reject the
For comparison, the other mice didn't get any injections.
Over the next month or so, mice treated with stem cells made more insulin, a
hormone that controls blood sugar.
Stem cells turned up in the mice's pancreas, which makes insulin.
The stem-cell treated mice also had less kidney damage than mice in the
comparison group, the study shows.
Diabetes can cause kidney damage. Stem cells showed up in the mice's kidneys
as well; the injected cells may have helped repair damage, the researchers
It's possible, but not yet certain, that stem cell shots could boost insulin
production and help fix damaged tissue in people with diabetes, according to