In findings that add to the prospect of generating insulin-producing cells for replacing beta cell function in type 1 diabetes, researchers have identified a gene critical for the development of cells in the pancreas, including beta cells that produce insulin. The results of the study, co-funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, are published today in the journal Nature
According to Julia Greenstein, Ph.D., Director of Beta cell therapies at JDRF, “This work confirms the importance of this gene in generating insulin-producing cells and provides an additional marker for beta cell development. Understanding expression of this gene can help us produce cells for beta cell replacement therapies and may provide a marker to help in developing therapeutics to regenerate beta cells in people with diabetes.”
Health-e-Solutions comment: Until recently, it was believed to be impossible to regenerate beta cells. Now beta cell regeneration is prominent in diabetes research, but with the assumption that drugs must be used to activate the process. As research progresses, they may discover in the end that a more healthy solution is a low-glycemic alkaline-forming diet. Hopefully, we will already be at the finish line to welcome them!