Friday, September 29, 2006

Transplant cures type 2 diabetic rats and without drugs

Record: Transplant cures type 2 diabetic rats — without drugs

Marc R. Hammerman, M.D. and Sharon A. Rogers have developed a 'cure' for type 2 diabetes. In a recent study, they transplant the cells of pig pancreatic primordia into a strain of rat with a disorder that closely resembles human type 2 diabetes. The cells grow into insulin producers inside the rat without triggering an attack by the rats' immune systems. This cured the rats' diabetes without the risky immune suppression drugs required to prevent rejection in other transplant-based treatments.

"The transplanted primordia not only appropriately regulated blood sugar in the type 2 diabetic rats, they also reduced insulin resistance," Hammerman said. "The rats are cured by pig insulin, which comes from the transplants and can be measured in their circulation. The rats' own insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are atrophied."

More studies need to be done to see if pig pancreatic primordia can be used to treat type 2 diabetes in humans. However if pig pancreatic primordia can prove to be comparably invisible to the human immune system and eliminate the need for need for anti-rejection drugs, they could represent a virtually unlimited source of donor organs to treat human type 2 diabetes.

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