The latest mini-organ…
Researchers have spent decades trying to replace the insulin-producing pancreatic cells, called beta cells, that are lost in diabetes. Now a team of researchers, reporting Feb. 18, 2016 in Cell Stem Cell, have discovered that tissue from the lower stomach has the greatest potential to be reprogrammed into a beta-cell state. The researchers took samples of this tissue from mice and grew them into “mini-organs” that produced insulin when transplanted back into the animals. The mini-organs’ stem cells also continued to replenish the insulin-producing cell population, giving the tissue a sustainable regenerative boost.
Cell Stem Cell, Ariyachet et al.: “Reprogrammed stomach tissue as a renewable source of functional beta-cells for blood glucose regulation” http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2016.01.003
Caption: A section of the gastric mini-organ engineered to produce insulin-secreting cells, with immunofluorescent staining. This image shows many induced insulin-producing cells (red) present in the mini-organ. Gastric stem and progenitor cells (green) are detected at the base of the glands. Cell nuclei labeled in blue. Credit: Chaiyaboot Ariyachet