Alpha-to-beta cell conversion or “reprogramming” is an early, but promising, therapeutic strategy for T1D. Scientists have now shown that the body can function normally without most of its alpha cells, addressing a potential safety concern for alpha-to-beta cell conversion.
By Kevin Gault To cure diabetes, scientists must devise a way to get the body producing insulin again. That’s a tough task. But several JDRF-funded studies have pointed to a potential path for doing so: converting other cells in the body into insulin-producing cells. The science is called reprogramming, and JDRF is excited by its […]
Cells in the pancreas that don’t normally produce insulin hold the potential to naturally convert into cells that do. The findings have the potential to open a whole new strategy for regenerating beta cells—and achieving normal blood sugar—in people with type 1 diabetes. This new path may be particularly useful in people who have had diabetes for a long time and have no, or very few, remaining beta cells.
The findings provide important insight into a possible regenerative therapy for type 1 diabetes. Researchers now have two potential cell targets for regeneration—progenitor cells and the alpha cells—as well as a critical gene and pathway that can be used to screen for drugs that target these cells.