New treatment on the horizon for type 1 diabetes sufferers

September 8, 2017, Westmead Institute for Medical Research
Pancreatic islet transplant in the quadriceps muscle. Credit: Westmead Institute for Medical Research

Patients suffering from type 1 diabetes may soon have access to improved approaches to treat the disease, courtesy of new research out of Sydney's Westmead Institute for Medical Research.

The team of researchers, led by Professor Jenny Gunton, discovered that pancreatic islets transplants delivered into the quadriceps muscle work just as successfully as the current clinical practice of transplanting islets into a patient's liver via the portal vein.

Lead researcher Ms Rebecca Stokes said that transplants into the liver can present certain risks for the patient, so their research investigated safer and more beneficial treatment options for recipients.

"Islets are cells in the pancreas that produce insulin," Ms Stokes explained.

"Pancreatic islet transplantation is used as a cure for type 1 diabetes as it allows the recipient to produce and regulate insulin after their own have been destroyed by the disease.

"Currently, are infused into a patient's liver via the portal vein. This site is used for islet transplants due to its exposure to both nutrients and insulin in the body.

"However, islet infusion into the liver also presents certain risks for the patient, including potential complications from bleeding, blood clots and portal hypertension.

"This suggests that there may be better treatment options for patients receiving islet transplants.

"We investigated alternative transplantation sites for human and mouse islets in recipient mice, comparing the portal vein with quadriceps muscle and kidney, liver and spleen capsules.

"Colleagues in Professor Wayne Hawthorne's group also tested similar sites for pig islet transplants in their companion paper.

"Professor Hawthorne's research examining xenotransplantation - the process of transplanting porcine cells into humans - holds great promise for treating type 1 diabetes into the future as a solution to overcoming the shortage of donor organs available for producing human islets for transplantation.

"Both studies showed that into the muscle site worked more successfully than transplantation into the portal vein.

"Skeletal muscles also hold other advantages over the as it offers easier access and greater potential for biopsies. A less invasive procedure would also be more appealing for patients," Ms Stokes said.

Professor Gunton said these findings are encouraging and warrant further investigation.

"This study is unique because comparisons of different graft sites for human islets have not previously been conducted.

"We have identified a potentially new approach to treating type 1 diabetes and we now hope to progress these findings into clinical trials for humans," Professor Gunton concluded.

The full research paper has been published in the Diabetologia journal: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00125-017-4362-8

This research was published as a companion paper that examined outcomes for porcine cells placed in the kidney, liver and spleen.

The companion paper is a promising step towards future human xenotransplantation to alleviate donor shortages of to provide a nearly unlimited source of cells: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-017-4363-7

Explore further: Islet-released mediators impact transplant outcome

More information: Rebecca A. Stokes et al, Transplantation sites for human and murine islets, Diabetologia (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s00125-017-4362-8

Related Stories

Islet-released mediators impact transplant outcome

September 7, 2017
(HealthDay)—Cytokines and chemokines produced by pancreatic islets in response to inflammatory and metabolic stress include interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10/CXCL10), which is associated with poor islet transplant ...

The best place to treat type 1 diabetes might be just under your skin

August 14, 2017
A group of U of T researchers have demonstrated that the space under our skin might be an optimal location to treat type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Novel tissue-engineered islet transplant achieves insulin independence in type 1 diabetes

May 11, 2017
Scientists from the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have produced the first clinical results demonstrating that pancreatic islet cells transplanted within a tissue-engineered ...

Pancreatic islets infusion for diabetes patient being readied for procedure in Japan

May 16, 2012
The Japanese Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association (JPITA) is preparing for the nation's first transplantation of pancreatic islets from a brain-dead donor to a patient with Type 1 diabetes, it was learned Saturday.

New procedure could improve success rate of cell transplant to cure type 1 diabetes

April 4, 2016
New research suggests pretreating cells with a peptide hormone may improve the success rate of pancreatic islet cell transplants, a procedure that holds great promise for curing Type 1 diabetes. The results will be presented ...

Research could treat Type I Diabetes by engineering pancreatic islets outside the body

August 23, 2017
Tiny packets of cells called islets throughout the pancreas allow the organ to produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes—also known as juvenile diabetes - tricks the immune system into destroying these islets. Patients must take ...

Recommended for you

Researchers study abnormal blood glucose levels of discharged patients

December 14, 2018
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers decided to delve into an area where little data currently exists. They wanted to know what happens after these patients with abnormal blood glucose measurements are discharged? ...

Researchers zero in on potential therapeutic target for diabetes, associated diseases

December 14, 2018
A recent study led by researchers in Texas A&M University's department of nutrition and food science shows how a novel regulatory mechanism serves as an important biomarker for the development of diabetes, as well as a potential ...

Does diabetes damage brain health?

December 14, 2018
(HealthDay)—Diabetes has been tied to a number of complications such as kidney disease, but new research has found that older people with type 2 diabetes can also have more difficulties with thinking and memory.

Researchers have found that incidence of heart failure was around two-fold higher in people with diabetes

December 11, 2018
Researchers have found that incidence of heart failure was around two-fold higher in people with diabetes.

Millions of low-risk people with diabetes may be testing their blood sugar too often

December 10, 2018
For people with Type 2 diabetes, the task of testing their blood sugar with a fingertip prick and a drop of blood on a special strip of paper becomes part of everyday life.

Very low calorie diets trialled by NHS to tackle diabetes

December 7, 2018
Hundreds of thousands of people will receive NHS help to battle obesity and type 2 diabetes under radical action set out by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.