An experimental drug can help restore insulin production

  • Researchers have investigated whether pancreatic stem cell-like cells can be reprogrammed into insulin-producing beta cells to treat diabetes.
  • They found that the genes that regulate insulin expression can be reactivated using a drug previously studied to treat multiple myeloma lymphoma.
  • The results of the study offer a new treatment option for diabetics who rely on daily insulin injections.

According to the World Health Organization, there are around 422 mln People with diabetes around the world, some researchers believe that this indicator is reached 700 mln Until 2045. In the United States, approx 1 in 10 In 2018, people were diagnosed with diabetes, which made diabetes a country seventh leading cause of death.

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 (formerly known as insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset diabetes) – The body does not produce the hormone insulin, or produces too little of it. This type of diabetes is most common in children and young adults.
  • Type 2 (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes) – the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use it properly. It is the most common type of diabetes (90-95% of all cases) and usually has a later onset.

Insulin-producing beta cells normally make up 50-70% of pancreatic islets (groups of cells in the pancreas). In both types of diabetes, there is a significant reduction in beta cells, primarily due to autoimmune destruction.

People with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes need daily insulin injections to survive. An alternative is whole pancreas or pancreatic islet transplantation, which is limited by the shortage of organ donors and the side effects of immunosuppressants.

Research into the regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells could lead to the development of new therapies for people who rely on insulin injections.

In a recent study, a human epigenetics researcher at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia found that the drug GSK-126 can restore insulin-producing beta cells in patients with type 1 diabetes by inhibiting pancreatic EZH2.

research will appear nature a magazine, Signal transduction and targeted therapythe and.

The EZH2 enzyme blocks the genes responsible for the development of insulin-producing beta cells. The researchers hypothesized that blocking EZH2 activity could restore insulin production.

The researchers investigated the effects of the highly selective EZH2 inhibitor GSK-126 on specific genes related to insulin production ex vivo using human pancreatic tissue from three donors, two non-diabetic and type 1 diabetic donors.

When the researchers analyzed the pancreas of a type 1 diabetic donor, they observed, as expected, absolute destruction of beta cells. In these pancreatic cells, the genes that regulate beta cell development and insulin production are “silenced.”

The researchers found that stimulating pancreatic cells with GSK-126 could restore the genes responsible for the development of pancreatic progenitor cells (stem cell-like cells) into insulin-producing beta cells.

The researchers found that GSK-126 also restored insulin gene expression in cells taken from a type 1 diabetes donor, despite the absolute destruction of beta cells. The study is the first reported example of restored insulin gene transcription and provides strong evidence for beta-cell regeneration.

Professor Sam El-Osta, Ph.D., head of the Epigenetics Laboratory for Human Health and Disease at Monash University and lead author of the study, described this method of restoring insulin production as “quick and cost-effective”.

“Our preliminary studies using human embryonic stem cells show significant insulin expression in just 2 days of drug treatment compared to 3-4 months with alternative methods.” El-Osta tent MNT.

By avoiding the use of embryonic stem cells, the study’s authors avoided the ethical concerns typically associated with such techniques. Another advantage of this potential diabetes treatment is that it is “less vulnerable to the risks associated with organ or islet transplantation,” he added.

Commenting on the study’s limitations, the researchers noted that they used cells from a donor with type 1 diabetes. Further studies are required to determine whether this approach is successful in a wider population of patients with type 1 diabetes.

Autoimmune attacks on insulin-producing beta cells present another obstacle to developing new therapies, Dr. Matthias von Gerrath, professor and founder of the Type 1 Diabetes Center at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology in the US

“In type 1 diabetes (and some cases of type 2) there is a strong (auto)immune reactivity to islets and insulin-producing beta cells, [which] cannot be avoided by making more of them. So, although it is an interesting progress, we still have to deal with this autoim reduction[m]une reaction (ideal w[i]without systemic immunosuppression of patients). [is] not an easy feat.” Dr. said von Herrat.

While this new diabetes treatment offers hope for people with type 1 diabetes, it is “not an ideal target” for type 2 diabetes, he says. John Busse, MD, director of the University of North Carolina Diabetes Center. “More [T]The biggest problem in type 2 diabetes is insulin not working properly, – Dr. bus awning MNT.

When asked how soon this treatment could be available to the public, Dr. Buse said, “With a lot of attention, funding and success, a human drug treatment based on an early demonstration of benefit like the one in this paper will generally take 7 to 10 years. And in this case, the drug development process is complicated by the need to get the cells from the body to the laboratory and then back to the patient.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.