To know the root causes of diabetes has eluded researchers for many years now. There are few basic reasons for why diabetes occurs in human body. First is Pancreas stops making enough insulin. Second is Muscle, fat and liver cells do not responding to insulin as it normally should. The ultimate goal, which has so far proved elusive, is a cure for diabetes, which could potentially be available for both types of diabetes through stem cell research.
Stem cells are natural repairing kits. Stem cells are unique, as no other cells in the body have the natural ability to replicate or regenerate themselves (in) new cell types. Stem cells are a form of cell that is yet to develop a specific set of traits. However, what stem cells have in abundance is the potential to develop into a number of different forms.
Stem cell research allows researchers to develop specific varieties of human cells in the lab and research how they behave and interact under different conditions. Stem cells open up a wide spectrum of diabetes research possibilities. In one example of diabetes stem cell research, researchers took cells from human intestine cells and disabled a gene which enabled the cells to produce insulin. In recent years, stem cell research has become a very important part of the scientific understanding of type 1 diabetes. Research has demonstrated that aspired stem cells from patient’s body can be processed in the lab for therapeutic purpose. In recent years many stem cell research centers have grew insulin producing beta cells by introducing two genes ‘cdk’ and ‘cyclin d’. The research could lead to a better availability of beta cells for future research purposes.
Progenitor cells, related to stem cells, are another exciting avenue of research. Like stem cells, progenitor cells are able to take on the form of a number of different types of mature human cells, however, unlike stem cells, progenitor cells cannot divide indefinitely. Progenitor stem cells have been used to grow insulin producing cells, under lab conditions, from intestinal cells and undeveloped pancreatic cells.
To cure type 1 diabetes, stem cell replacement needs to be more than simply a case of swapping insulin-producing cells from a healthy pancreas with those destroyed by diabetes in a diabetic patient. Numerous complications preclude this as a simple treatment. Islet cell transplants are one form of procedure that has proven effective. In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system becomes programmed to attack the beta cells, so the patient must take immune-suppressant drugs to prevent this happening.
“In short we can say that people with type 1 diabetes will be able to regenerate their own insulin-producing cells with stem cell treatment. This would mean that they could make their own insulin and regain control of their blood glucose levels, curing their diabetes.”