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Is Facilitating Pancreatic Beta Cell Regeneration a Valid Option for Clinical Therapy?

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Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which the clinical onset most frequently presents in adolescents who are genetically predisposed. There is accumulating evidence that the endocrine pancreas has regenerative properties, that hematopoietic chimerism can abrogate destruction of beta cells in autoimmune diabetes, and that, in this manner, physiologically sufficient endogenous insulin production can be restored in clinically diabetic NOD mice. Recapitulating what also has been seen sporadically in humans, we set out to test reliable and clinically translatable alternatives able to achieve these same goals. Recently, Tian and colleagues demonstrated that T1D can be prevented in genetically susceptible mice by substituting a “diabetes-susceptible” class II MHC beta chain with a “diabetes-resistant” allelic transgene on their hematopoietic stem cells through gene supplantation. The expression of the newly formed diabetes-resistant molecule in the reinfused hematopoietic cells was sufficient to prevent T1D onset even in the presence of the native, diabetogenic molecule. If this approach to obtain autoimmunity abrogation could facilitate a possible recovery of autologous insulin production in diabetic patients, safe induction of an autoimmunity-free status might become a new promising therapy for T1D.
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Keywords: Autoimmunity; Beta cell precursors; Beta cell regeneration; Tolerization; Type 1 diabetes

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Immunogenetics, Department of Pediatrics,Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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