Researchers from Stanford University had found out that it is possible to generate insulin from brain stem cells
Since the time the first does of insulin was given to patient suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus, the demand for insulin had often overcame its supply. Moreover, where there is availability of insulin, even there remains a lack in control of diabetes in patients. One reason for such is inability of the patient to synthesize insulin in the body. The work of the Stanford researchers may be one of the first in the direction of diabetes control when the body can resume insulin secretion after treatment.
The researchers had taken human neural progenitor cells taken from brain and exposed them to signals that will lead to pancreatic islet development. This produced clusters of insulin producing cells that were responsive to glucose absorption. These were then transplanted in to immuno-suppressant mice. When the mice were given glucose, circulating human insulin and C-peptide were detected. These were derived from the proinsulin precursor.
Although the results obtained in mice is a far cry from the procedure that can be adapted to suit the human needs, but the study may be the first one that can open a whole new area of treatment of diabetes.