Aug 22, 2020

Diabetes Controlled in Mice Using First Immune-Evading Human Islet Cell Organoids

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Salk Institute scientists have harnessed stem cell technology to generate the first human insulin-producing pancreatic cell clusters that can evade the immune system. Generated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), these “immune shielded” human islet-like organoids (HILOs) controlled blood glucose following transplantation into a mouse model of diabetes, without the use of immunosuppressive drugs. The researchers suggest the achievement represents a major advance in the quest for a safe and effective treatment for type 1 diabetes (T1D), which impacts an estimated 1.6 million people in the United States, at a cost of $14.4 billion annually.

“Most type 1 diabetics are children and teenagers,” said Salk professor Ronald Evans, PhD, holder of the March of Dimes chair in molecular and developmental biology. Evans is senior author of the team’s paper, which is published in Nature. “This is a disease that is historically hard to manage with drugs. We hope that regenerative medicine in combination with immune shielding can make a real difference in the field by replacing damaged cells with lab-generated human islet-like cell clusters that produce normal amounts of insulin on demand.”

Evans and colleagues reported on their development in a paper titled, “Immune-evasive human islet-like organoids ameliorate diabetes.”

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