Bone marrow stem cells transplanted into mice with a diabetes-like illness raise the animals’ insulin to near-normal levels and significantly reduce their blood sugar levels, according to a report in the July issue of Nature Biotechnology. Mickie Bhatia and colleagues found that the transplanted stem cells did not produce insulin themselves but stimulated regeneration of the animals’ own pancreatic cells.
While the approach shows promise, it has not yet been studied in humans, and further research will be needed before it can be considered as a therapy for people with diabetes.
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