December 14, 2010
Insulin-Producing Cells Made From Adult Cells

Men with type 1 diabetes might be able to grow insulin-producing cells from their own testicular stem cells.

PHILADELPHIA Men with type 1 diabetes may be able to grow their own insulin-producing cells from their testicular tissue, say Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) researchers who presented their findings today at the American Society of Cell Biology 50th annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Their laboratory and animal study is a proof of principle that human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) extracted from testicular tissue can morph into insulin-secreting beta islet cells normally found in the pancreas. And the researchers say they accomplished this feat without use of any of the extra genes now employed in most labs to turn adult stem cells into a tissue of choice.

Extract these stem cells and grow them outside their normal environment and they become stem cells capable of forming all cell types. So in theory these cells could be used to many different types of organs and stem cell therapies.

Because SSCs already have the genes necessary to become embryonic stem cells, it is not necessary to add any new genes to coax them to morph into these progenitor cells, Gallicano says. "These are male germ cells as well as adult stem cells."

"We found that once you take these cells out of the testes niche, they get confused, and will form all three germ layers within several weeks," he says. "These are true, pluripotent stem cells."

Okay guys, so we got that going for us. Be careful with the future source of cells for your replacement organs. The cool part of this approach to creating pluripotent stem cells is it avoids immune incompatibility that could come with embryonic stem cell lines. When we get older we are going to need replacement parts grown to replace the old failing parts. This report might be the ticket for how to get the starter cells for growing replacement parts.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 December 14 10:21 PM  Biotech Stem Cells

doug said at December 15, 2010 1:44 PM:

I was looking forward as I read this to the humorous possibilities which might show up in the comments. In fact, I thought the situation itself looked quite (ahem,) pluripotent.

But, no comments yet. BTW, is the time shown for the post GMT or whatever they call it now?

You know, to make adult stem cells this way takes really big ... it's just way too easy.

dave in dallas said at December 15, 2010 2:47 PM:

I'd give my left you-know-what to stop taking these insulin shots.. :-)

Scott said at December 15, 2010 3:34 PM:

I agree wholeheartedly with Dave. I have given myself over 30K shots over the last 42 years. I really would give a testicle to put an end to type I DM. The side effects of having a normal Euglycemic system would alleviate many of the problems that I now starting to develop.

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