Researchers have identified a way to trigger reproduction in the laboratory of clusters of human cells that make insulin, potentially removing a significant obstacle to transplanting the cells as a treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes. Pictured in blue are the cells and in green, the insulin.
The rare disorder Wolfram syndrome is caused by mutations in a single gene, but its effects on the body are far reaching. Now, researchers report that they have identified a mechanism that affects both insulin-secreting cells and neurons. The finding will aid in the understanding of Wolfram syndrome and also may be important in the treatment of milder forms of diabetes and other disorders.
Two international research teams — one led by M. Alan Permutt, M.D., professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis — have found variations in a gene that may predispose people to type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. The two research teams, which collaborated extensively, will report their findings in companion articles in the April issue of Diabetes.