Diabetes Cure With Gene Therapy

by Medindia Content Team on  May 3, 2003 at 7:44 PM General Health News
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Diabetes Cure With Gene Therapy
A gene therapy developed by researchers has cured diabetes in mice by inducing cells in the liver to become beta cells that produce insulin and three other hormones. The researchers used NeuroD gene which induces the liver to produce cells that make insulin and hormones relating to pancreas. NeuroD partially cured diabetic mice, but when combined with beta cell growth factor, diabetes was completely cured. Also cells in liver produce glucagon, somostatin and pancreatic polypeptide which are important in controlling insulin production and release. However one cannot claim, the treatment can directly be used in humans because of the virus used to take the gene into the cell. Researchers are expecting for more safer virus to taking the gene. The treatment has advantages over transplant of islet cells, the insulin producers in the pancreas, because it avoids the lifelong use of powerful immunosuppressive drugs and eliminates the need to find a compatible donor.

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