Scientists, including those from Harvard University, have developed ‘mini-organs’ that produce insulin if transplanted into mice, a method which could prove to be a good patient-specific therapy for those having diabetes.

Decades have been spent by researchers trying to replace pancreatic cell that produce insulin, named beta cells, which are lost in diabetics.

Now, scientists have found out that a tissue from the lower stomach can work the best if it is reprogrammed into beta cells.

Decades have been spent by researchers trying to replace pancreatic cell that produce insulin, named beta cells, which are lost in diabetics.

Now, scientists have found out that tissue from lower stomach can work the best if it is reprogrammed into beta cells.

Samples of the tissue were taken from mice, which were then grown into mini-organs, which produced insulin when transplantation of the same was done in animals.

Then these cells continued replenishing insulin-producing cell population, thereby giving a regenerative boost to the tissue.

Qiao Zhou of Harvard University stated that they discovered and surprisingly found that the pylorus region cells of the stomach are apt for converting to beta cells. He further adds that the tissue proves to be the best material.

The stomach is connected to the small intestine through pylorus region. Once reprogramming is done, cells in the area respond to high glucose levels and produce insulin so that the blood sugar of the mice can be normalized.
For testing the effectiveness of the cells, the pancreatic beta cells of the mice were destroyed by the researchers and their bodies were forced to depend on stomach cells that were altered.

For testing the effectiveness of the cells, the pancreatic beta cells of the mice were destroyed by the researchers and their bodies were forced to depend on stomach cells that were altered.

Death of animals without tissue reprogramming was seen within 8 weeks. However, the reprogrammed cells of experimental mice maintained glucose levels and insulin in blood as long as the animals were tracked for 6 months.  Another advantage of the pyloric stomach is that the gut tissue is renewed naturally by stem cells regularly.

When pyloric stomach expressed conversion genes, the 1st set of the reprogrammed set was destroyed experimentally, and insulin-producing cell production was refreshed.

When the mouse grew into an adult, three genes were turned on. However, a transgenic human being cannot be done.

Stomach issue was taken from the mice and was engineered for expressing cell reprogramming factors. Cells were coaxed for growing into a tiny ball of mini-stomach that produces insulin and refreshes itself within the stem cells.

Then, these mini-organs were placed by the team on a membrane which covers the abdominal cavity of the mouse. When pancreatic cells were destroyed by the researchers for seeing if mini-organs can compensate, they found normalcy in glucose levels in 5 out of 22 experimental animals.

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