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Insulin-producing beta cells may change function in diabetes: Study

ANI | Updated: May 18, 2019 14:40 IST

<p>Washington D.C [USA], May 18 (ANI): Researchers revealed that <a href="/search?query=insulin">insulin</a>-producing <a href="/search?query=beta cell">beta cell</a>s can change their own <a href="/search?query=function">function</a> in <a href="/search?query=diabetes">diabetes</a>. They found that the <a href="/search?query=RNA">RNA</a> messaging system which tells proteins how to behave in cells is <a href="/search?query=function">function</a>ing differently in <a href="/search?query=diabetes">diabetes</a>.<br />The changes lead to some of the <a href="/search?query=beta cell">beta cell</a>s no longer producing <a href="/search?query=insulin">insulin</a> which regulates <a href="/search?query=blood sugar">blood sugar</a>, and instead of producing somatostatin, which can block the secretion of other important hormones including <a href="/search?query=insulin">insulin</a> itself.<br />The study may give new insights into how high <a href="/search?query=blood sugar">blood sugar</a> can alter the behaviour of important hormone-producing cells, and pave the way to new treatments.<br />Professor Lorna Harries, the lead researcher of the study, said: "These insights are really exciting. Only recently, Exeter researchers discovered that people with type 1 <a href="/search?query=diabetes">diabetes</a> still retain some <a href="/search?query=insulin">insulin</a>-producing cells, but the environment produced by <a href="/search?query=diabetes">diabetes</a> can be toxic for these cells that remain. Our work could lead to new changes to protect these cells, which could help people maintain some ability to make their own <a href="/search?query=insulin">insulin</a>. The method we used of creating an all-human cell system for the first time is significant - I don't think we'd have seen these changes in mouse cells."<br />The team then analysed post mortem pancreas tissue from people with either type 1 or type 2 <a href="/search?query=diabetes">diabetes</a>. This revealed that they have more delta cells than they should have, suggesting that <a href="/search?query=diabetes">diabetes</a> might be causing some of the <a href="/search?query=beta cell">beta cell</a>s to turn into delta cells in people as well as in cells in the laboratory.<br />"The really exciting finding is that in the laboratory at least, we have been able to reverse the changes - turn the delta cells back to <a href="/search?query=beta cell">beta cell</a>s - if we restore the environment to normal, or if we treat the cells with chemicals that restore the regulator genes and the patterns of <a href="/search?query=RNA">RNA</a> messages made to normal. That's very promising when we consider the potential for new therapeutics," concluded Professor Harries. (ANI)<br /></p>
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