Type 1 diabetics that are currently controlling their disorder through pills or injections may never need to poke themselves every again! Since type 1 diabetics cannot produce insulin, a naturally-occurring hormone of the human body, human guts cells that may be able to produce insulin might help to solve their condition.
Researchers from Columbia University studied gastrointestinal cells located in the human torso. What they have found is that by turning off a single gene, named FOX01, in these arrangements causes those cells to start producing insulin. From this information, there is possible hope for a drug creation that would reinstruct cells in diabetics to start producing this much needed hormone.
Researchers, using stem cells, created a tissue model of a human intestine and trained those cells to stop the FOXO1 gene which, within a week, started producing the crucial hormone. What really made this research plausible, was the cells only started producing insulin when they were provided with sugar, just like the natural process of the human body.
Since the human immune system can reject cells that are foreign to them, current procedures using stem or embryonic cells, will become obsolete. With this research, patients will be able to train their own cells to produce insulin allowing the prevention of procedural rejections and increasing the amount of successful patients.
More research is still needed before this becomes available to the public. However if it does the efforts of medical researchers over the past twenty years will finally end in victory.
Production of insulin in the gastrointestinal cells investigation was published in the journalNature Communications.