Reprogramming Cells to Fight Diabetes

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Reprogramming Cells to Fight Diabetes


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Old 02-24-2013, 10:21   #1
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Default Reprogramming Cells to Fight Diabetes

Reprogramming Cells to Fight Diabetes

PHILADELPHIA — For years researchers have been searching for a way to treat diabetics by reactivating their insulin-producing beta cells, with limited success. The "reprogramming" of related alpha cells into beta cells may one day offer a novel and complementary approach for treating type 2 diabetes. Treating human and mouse cells with compounds that modify cell nuclear material called chromatin induced the expression of beta cell genes in alpha cells, according to a new study that appears online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

“This would be a win-win situation for diabetics — they would have more insulin-producing beta cells and there would be fewer glucagon-producing alpha cells,” says lead author Klaus H. Kaestner, Ph.D., professor of Genetics and member of the Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Type 2 diabetics not only lack insulin, but they also produce too much glucagon.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are caused by insufficient numbers of insulin-producing beta cells. In theory, transplantation of healthy beta cells – for type 1 diabetics in combination with immunosuppression to control autoimmunity - should halt the disease, yet researchers have not yet been able to generate these cells in the lab at high efficiency, whether from embryonic stem cells or by reprogramming mature cell types.

Alpha cells are another type of endocrine cell in the pancreas. They are responsible for synthesizing and secreting the peptide hormone glucagon, which elevates glucose levels in the blood.

“We treated human islet cells with a chemical that inhibits a protein that puts methyl chemical groups on histones, which - among many other effects - leads to removal of some histone modifications that affect gene expression,” says Kaestner. “We then found a high frequency of alpha cells that expressed beta-cell markers, and even produced some insulin, after drug treatment.

(snip)

“To some extent human alpha cells appear to be in a ‘plastic’ epigenetic state,” explains Kaestner. “We reasoned we might use that to reprogram alpha cells towards the beta-cell phenotype to produce these much-needed insulin-producing cells.”

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Old 02-24-2013, 13:10   #2
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Either way I plan on sticking to my current diet forever, but if I could get my phase 1 insulin response back, that would make things so much easier to deal with. :-) Neat stuff!

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Old 02-24-2013, 13:30   #3
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I have thought about this before. If I had the option of getting beta cell transplant (or training alpha cells to work as beta cells) but I had to take immunosuppressant drugs, I may choose to keep this very annoying thing called diabetes. I am never sick (I did have pneumonia last year but that was prior to my healthy LCHF woe). But besides the pneumonia, I never get sick, not even little colds. So would I want to suppress my immune system in order to 'cure' my type 1 diabetes? I am not sure i would. Plus who knows what those drugs will do to you over a lifetime. If it ever comes a time where this cure is ever perfected, then I guess I will have to make that decision.

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Old 02-24-2013, 20:02   #4
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Quote:
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are caused by insufficient numbers of insulin-producing beta cells.
Really? I guess we're all just the same, then. T2 didn't start with insulin insufficiency and there is little basis to think that insulin alone whether from beta cells or elsewhere will solve the whole problem.

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Old 02-24-2013, 21:04   #5
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Originally Posted by arenda View Post
I have thought about this before. If I had the option of getting beta cell transplant (or training alpha cells to work as beta cells) but I had to take immunosuppressant drugs, I may choose to keep this very annoying thing called diabetes. I am never sick (I did have pneumonia last year but that was prior to my healthy LCHF woe). But besides the pneumonia, I never get sick, not even little colds. So would I want to suppress my immune system in order to 'cure' my type 1 diabetes? I am not sure i would. Plus who knows what those drugs will do to you over a lifetime. If it ever comes a time where this cure is ever perfected, then I guess I will have to make that decision.

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Immune suppressant drugs do not mean stopping your immune system.
I'm on immune suppressant medication for Lupus.
What immune suppressors do ideally is calm down overactive immune system activity.
over active immune sees normal body functions as foreign invaders and attacks those cells, which is the case I believe w T1, it is in my case.
Over active immune system can wear one down thus results in frequent infections the risk for anything that comes down the pike, arthritis neuropathy, fibromyalgia etc.
I did not want these drugs either, believed the same way until I had no choice.
I don't get sick anymore, my insulin levels are low, I also eat the LC/HF but my arthritis is not progressing my hair is growing back, and I'm not fighting a multitudes of issues.
If your body's attacking the cells a transplant would be worthless as the new cells would be instantly destroyed.

I'd love to be rid of diabetes and autoimmune issues.

I see nothing but positive changes from my immune suppressants but I see only positive things from my insulin too.

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Old 02-24-2013, 22:38   #6
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Hmm
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunosuppressive_drug
States that these drugs do compromise the immune system and makes it harder to fight infections among other things. I am glad it is all working out for you, I was just stating I may prefer to deal with what I know (diabetes) than with something that I do not know.

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Old 02-25-2013, 02:45   #7
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There aren't enough citations as listed for verification as well.
There are also words like "some" "may" etc.
I'm not challenging your right to choose not to, I'm simply clarifying that not all immunosuppressant medications are drugs that totally shut down ones immune system causing a person to be ill frequently, as mentioned the various diseases they are used for are very prevalent in society.
As with Diabetes everyone is different.
Perhaps if I hadn't read these type references years ago I would not be a type 1 diabetic.
As well, If I had not been terrified of the side effects of insulin I would not have gotten so very ill before I agreed to it either.
I personally don't like the idea of trying transplant myself.
Diabetes is not a problem for me now so I would prefer to manage the way I am then taking a chance at losing more years on an experiment.
I was not arguing simply clarifying.

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Old 02-25-2013, 14:29   #8
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I think the important thing to remember is all drugs have a risk reward ratio, and it can vary from individual to individual. Reading the adverse event reporting on something as simple as vitamins might lead some people to stop taking them.

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Old 02-25-2013, 14:43   #9
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I think early detection before your Beta Mass in compromised and you still have full arsenal of insulin is far more important than trying to convert Alpha cells to make even more insulin. The aspirin therapy I did a while back did wonders for my insulin release and insulin production. There is no way of determining that though, I didn't test myself before and after.

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Old 02-25-2013, 15:05   #10
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I think early detection before your Beta Mass in compromised and you still have full arsenal of insulin is far more important than trying to convert Alpha cells to make even more insulin. The aspirin therapy I did a while back did wonders for my insulin release and insulin production. There is no way of determining that though, I didn't test myself before and after.
Do you think there was a inflammatory problem then? Just curious.

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