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Treatment Reverses Type 1 Diabetes in Mouse Model

Animals were treated with anti-CD3 antibody, given transplanted embryonic pancreatic tissue

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- In a mouse model of type 1 diabetes, treatment with anti-CD3 antibody and transplantation of pancreatic anlagen resulted in restoration of β-cell function and long-term diabetes recovery, according to research published online July 9 in Endocrinology.

Salma Begum, Ph.D., of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues discuss their work with non-obese-diabetic mice, which spontaneously develop type 1 diabetes. Shortly after disease onset, mice were given anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody for five days, followed by transplantation of embryonic pancreatic tissue, and, for short-term glucose control, implantation of a subcutaneous insulin pellet.

The researchers found that most mice maintained normal blood glucose levels after removal of the insulin pellet several weeks after the transplantation. Use of a green fluorescent protein marker showed that the transplanted cells migrated to the host pancreases, with most of them expressing insulin.

"These studies present a novel treatment paradigm combining the induction of immune tolerance with the restoration of β-cell function by the transplantation of pancreatic precursor cells. Although it is not envisioned that direct transplantation of fetal pancreatic anlagen would be a viable treatment in human type 1 diabetes patients, this study points to the possibility of using pancreatic precursors for therapy," the authors conclude.

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