Novel type 1 diabetes treatment shown to work on human beta cells transplanted into mice

November 25, 2014

TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2014--A chemical produced in the pancreas that prevented and even reversed Type 1 diabetes in mice had the same effect on human beta cells transplanted into mice, new research has found.

GABA, or gamma-aminobutryic acid, is an amino acid produced by the same beta cells that make and secrete insulin.

Drs. Gerald Prud'homme and Qinghua Wang of the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Sciences of St. Michael's Hospital published a paper in 2011 showing for the first time that GABA injections not only prevented Type 1 diabetes in mice, but even reversed the disease.

A new paper published (Nov. 29) in the December issue of Diabetes shows GABA does the same thing in mice who have been injected with human pancreatic cells.

Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, is characterized by the immune system's destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas. As a result, the body makes little or no insulin. The only conventional treatment for Type 1 diabetes is insulin injection, but insulin is not a cure as it does not prevent or reverse the loss of beta cells.

Drs. Prud'homme and Wang also found that GABA vastly improved the survival rate of pancreatic cells when they were being transplanted into mice. About 70 per cent of pancreatic cells die between the time the organ is harvested and transplanted. The researchers said their finding could lead to future research specifically related to pancreatic transplants.

GABA has been known for decades to be a key neurotransmitter in the brain, a chemical that nerve cells use to communicate with each other, but its role in the pancreas was unknown until the 2011 paper by Drs. Prud'homme and Wang.

GABA and related therapies would have to be tested in human clinical trials, a process that could take several years, the researchers said, noting that many treatments that work in mice do not always translate into effective human therapies.
-end-
This study received funding from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael's Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital's recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

For more information, or to speak to Drs. Prud'homme or Wang, please contact Leslie Shepherd, Manager of Media Strategy.

Inspired Care. Inspiring Science.

http://www.stmichaelshospital.com

Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stmikeshospital

St. Michael's Hospital

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.