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Mesenchymal stem cells derived in vitro transdifferentiated insulin producing cells: new approach to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus

Authors:Shruti D Dave
Int J Biol Med Res. 2014; 5(2): 4133-4141  |  PDF File


The pathophysiology of Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is largely related to an innate defect in the immune system culminating in a loss of self tolerance and destruction of the insulin producing beta cells. Currently, there is no definitive cure for T1DM. Insulin injection does not mimic the precise regulation of beta cells on glucose homeostasis, leading long term to the development of complications. Stem cell therapy is a promising approach and specifically mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) offer a promising possibility that deserves to be explored further. MSC are multipotent, non-haematopoietic progenitors which have been explored as treatment option in tissue regeneration as well as potential of in vitro transdifferentiation into insulin secreting cells, achieving in this way the major therapeutic goals for T1DM. The regenerative capabilities of MSC have been a driving force to initiate studies testing their therapeutic effectiveness; their immunomodulatory properties have been equally exciting; which would appear capable of disabling immune dysregulation that leads to beta cell destruction in T1DM. Furthermore, MSC can be cultured in specially defined conditions and their transdifferentiation can be directed toward the beta cell phenotype and the formation of insulin producing cells (IPCs) can be targeted. To date, the role of MSC derived IPC in T1DM– a unique approach with some positive findings have been unexplored, but it is still in its very early phase. Herein has been summarized new approach that have been proposed and tested for MSC derived IPC’s potential therapeutic benefit for T1DM in experimental animal models as well as in humans.