Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Stem Cells May Treat Diabetes

Scientists Coax Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Mice With a Condition Like Type 1 Diabetes
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 21, 2008 -- Researchers report using embryonic stem cells to treat a condition like type 1 diabetes in mice.

Stem cells are cells that can develop into other types of cells. Embryonic stem cells can develop into a wide range of cell types.

In lab tests on mice, scientists at a San Diego company called Novocell grafted human embryonic stem cells into abdominal fat in mice. Before being implanted into the mice, those stem cells had been prepped to develop into pancreatic cells that get killed in type 1 diabetes.

Thirty days after implantation, the embryonic stem cells had morphed into pancreatic cells. And about two months after that, those pancreatic cells were up to speed at producing insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar.

The experiment proves the potential for embryonic stem cells to treat type 1 diabetes, note the researchers, who included Emmanuel Baetge, PhD.

But the process isn't yet ready for use in people.

Of the 46 grafts that Baetge's team transplanted into the mice, seven led to tumors. Scientists worldwide are working on ways to harness the potential of stem cells while minimizing health risks from stem cell treatment.

Baetge and colleagues report their findings online in Nature Biotechnology.

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner