Turning Sperm Stem Cells into Insulin Producing Cells - A Potential Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes in Males
Researchers are currently investigating the possibility of turning sperm stem cells into insulin producing cells for males with type 1 diabetes. If this is possible then using egg stems cells should also be possible for females with type 1 diabetes.
Dr G. Ian Gallicano, an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and director of the Transgenic Core Facility at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) in Washington DC is the head of this study. Their lab and animal study was "proof of principle" that it was possible to extract human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) from testicular tissue and "morph" them into insulin-secreting beta islet cells normally found in the pancreas.
Dr. Gallicano and his team also discovered that it was not necessary to insert the extra genes to turn adult stem cells into the tissue of choice in this case the testicular tissue.
By using, the bodies own stem cells there is less of a risk of the body destroying the cells as with the implanted islet beta cells that are currently being done as a method of treatment. In many cases, the islet beta cells are accepted by the diabetic’s body but in other cases, they are rejected.