Pumping Insulin Cutting edge research on Islet Cells

Cutting Edge Research on Islet Cells
Rafaeloff, R., Pittenger,Barlow,Qin, Yen Rosenberg, Duguld, and Vinik:
Journal of Clinical Investigation 99:2100-2109 (1997)

There are some interesting experiments on inducing islet cell growth from McGill University in Montreal. In this experiment they gave hamsters diabetes by injecting them with strptozotocin, a nitric oxide donor that destroys islet cells irreversibly in small doses. They then wrapped the pancreas with cellophane tape which resulted in pancreatitis and expression of pancreatitis related protein which induced expression of a gene they named INGAP which in turn induced transformation of the ductal cells of the pancreas into islet cells. They further found that the pancreas expressed a gene in the acinar cells (exocrine cells) that they called INGAP which is only expressed during pancreatic development and causes islet cell maturation to occur. The ARTICLE (above) is availble in full on line from the Journal of Clinical Investigation. It is heavy reading but it shows how a particular protein is responsible for islet cell formation and maturation. This is not even near a clinical trial but it would probably be better than a transplant and avoids some of the hazards of immunosuppression associated with transplantation such as cancer, host graft rejection and infection.