European scientists found a new treatment for type 1 diabetes in which they identified a transcription factor that plays a key role in the conversion of pancreas cells into insulin-producing beta cells.
The researchers, in a pre-clinical trial on mice, found that when a gene called Pax4 is turned on in pancreatic cells, the cells change their identity to become beta cells. The body identifies the loss of alpha cells and replaces them with new ones, which are also converted into beta cells.
In type 1 diabetes patients, insulin levels drops and blood sugar levels becomes soar because body destroys beta cells.
The study, also shows that the pancreas have ability of generating beta cell.
The researchers suggested that although this approach was effective in mice, further research has to be done before it can be determined whether it would work in humans.
Further investigation is required to determining whether the alpha to beta cell conversion can be kept under control.
Too many beta cells isn’t good either, Ahmed Mansouri of the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany, said in a news release. We’ll need a strategy to trigger Pax4 and, at a certain point, also stop it.