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Cells that change jobs to fight diabetes

#new research #innovation #diabetes

By highlighting the ability of cells to compensate for the lack of insulin, I have used the unsuspected analysis of cellular plasticity in the pancreas.

Persistent high blood glucose cells that heal when certain cells in the pancreas - β cells that produce insulin - are destroyed or are no longer able to secrete insulin. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have managed to get a portion of the pancreas cells, which are usually others, but can take the upper hand from damaged cells by starting an insulin production. Looking at how they can change their identity, I discovered a phenomenon of cellular plasticity unknown until now. Furthermore, beyond the pancreas, such processes could characterize many other types of cells in the body. These results, to be read in Nature Cell Biology, lead to completely new strategic strategies.

The pancreas contains different types of different cells. Among these are the cells, which are glucagon, the β cells, which are insulin, and the cells are, like somatostatin, a hormone that acts as a local system to control cell and β activity. Together small groups known as pancreatic islands. Glucagon increases blood sugar levels, while insulin has the opposite effect. In patients with diabetes, in the absence of functional β cells, blood sugar levels are persistently high.

At the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine, Professor Pedro Herrera and his team demonstrated, some years ago, the existence of a natural ability to regenerate insulin-producing cells: in mice without β-cells, new insulin-producing cells spontaneously . Some pancreatic cells are then able to reprogram themselves to learn how to secrete insulin. "However, this phenomenon affects only 1-2% of α and δ cells because some perform this conversion and others do not. And always, possible possible to encourage it? Professor Herrera.
If the professor's work is concentrated on pancreatic cells, the same processes can be applied to many other differentiated cells in the body. Thus, the idea that cells mature is differentiated remain stable forever is now being questioned.

Source: University of Gienvra, Unige.ch