Experiments conducted on mice have raised optimism among scientists and patients alike, about potential cures for diabetes, after stem cells from human bone marrow was used to rectify the faulty insulin secreting pancreatic cells , blamed for diabetes in mice. This treatment was also effective in reducing the damage to the kidneys due to diabetes.
Researchers from New Orleans' Tulane University feel that this method can be used in humans to treat diabetes.
The US team subjected a group of diabetic mice who suffered high blood sugar and damaged kidneys with stem cells which were injected into their bodies. Another group was not treated with injections. The finding revealed that after 3 weeks, the mice which had received the injections started producing increased amounts of mouse insulin and portrayed lower blood sugar levels.
Researcher Dr Darwin Prockop said: "We are not certain whether the kidneys improved because the blood sugar was lower or because the human cells were helping to repair the kidneys. But we suspect the human cells were repairing the kidneys in much the same way they were repairing the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas."
Dr Prockop has confirmed that his team would be conducting trials in patients suffering diabetes.