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Novocell and Pfizer are joining efforts around the treatment of diabetes with stem cells
19 January, 2009
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Researchers from the Medical University of Pittsburgh have successfully stimulating insulin-producing cells from a man known as ß-cells. The message was published on the pages of Sience Daily. Scientists have expressed hope that their discovery could be key to the development of new methods in the treatment of diabetes.
"Many researchers are of the view that ß-cells in the pancreas can not be forced to a division or believe this is happening very slowly", says Andrew Stewart professor of medicine and head of the Board of endocrinology and metabolism at the Medical University in Pittsburgh. In his study of their demonstrated that the formation of human ß-cells can be stimulated. New cells function efficiently both in laboratory and in animals. 
The results were published in the electronic version of the journal Diabetes, Journal of the American Association of diabetes. The main authors are Natalie Fiachi-Thatch, assistant professor in the Department of Endocrinology at the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Todd Bigatel,with a scholarship on the program. They have identified molecules that play a major role in replitsiraneto of ß-cells found in human Langerhans islands. From previous studies it is known to contribute to the topic have other authors like Irene Kosara-Castelain, Endocrinology conducted similar research using cells from mouse models.
The researchers from Pittsburgh have found that, unlike rodents, human ß-cells contain a protein called cdk-6. According to observations ß-cells started to divide after the production of the cdk-6 is increased. This is made possible by viral vector carrying the gene for cdk-6. Stimulation was increased further and by increasing the production of protein - tsiklin E1 (cyclin D1), which is also involved in cell cycle. The team found that disincentives human ß-cells do not undergo fission. "After engraft recombined human ß-cells in the outer layer of the kidney of mice, suffering from diabetes, found that the division continues and the level of blood sugar to normal," explains Dr. Fiachi - Thatch. "When the kidney to acute insulin-producing cells, the mice developed diabetes again.
The team was awarded by the National Health Institute, the American diabetes Association and the Foundation for the study of diabetes in childhood.
"The perspective is to look for opportunities for studying human B-cells and their division in vivo, ie organized. We hope to improve methods of examination and treatment. Other possibilities are the use of cells from the donor groups, lines of ß-cells or stem cells, "said Dr. Stewart. Clinical trials for the treatment of type-1 diabetes with stem cells are in Phase-2 and have their first patients. Biotech companies (Novocell), giants in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals (Pfizer), together with academic communities (Shinaya Yamanaka), and leading universities (Cambridge) have united their efforts on research and development of methods for treating diabetes with stem cells.
For more information about stem cells, you can call the tel.02/989 44 00 or www.cryo-save.com