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Jun 14, 2022

New potential diabetes treatment regenerates insulin-producing cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

An emerging way to treat diabetes is to repair or replace the cells in the body that naturally produce insulin. Swedish researchers have now identified a molecule that helps stimulate the growth of new insulin-producing cells, and uncovered how it works, opening up new potential diabetes treatments.

Diabetes is characterized by issues with insulin, the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels and allows the body’s cells to access it for energy. In type 1 diabetes, beta cells in the pancreas that normally produce insulin can’t make enough to meet demand, often because those cells have been destroyed by the immune system.

Treatment currently relies on administering insulin shots, but an emerging branch of study centers on finding ways to replenish the insulin production of those beta cells. Previous breakthroughs have included creating artificial beta cells that can pick up the slack, or using stem cells to grow new ones.

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