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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 4

Stem Cells: Source for diabetes cell therapy

Department of Biochemistry, M.M.I.M.S.R, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
H Kaur
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, M.M.I.M.S.R, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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One adult in ten will have diabetes by 2030, figures signify that the number of people living with diabetes is estimated to rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030. Between 2010 and 2030, there will be a 69% increase in number of adults with diabetes in developing countries and a 20% increase in developed countries. One of the principal effects is the reduction in β-cell mass, which is ubiquitous in almost all patients with type 1 diabetes and most patients with type 2 diabetes. Current therapy focuses primarily on administration of insulin to restore glucose homeostasis. However, the method is imprecise and does not entirely control the minute-to-minute fluctuations in systemic blood glucose. Because of these shortcomings, recent research has been directed towards establishing cellular-based therapies that circumvent the need for exogenous insulin delivery by conventional injection or more modern pump technology. One of the most fascinating of these strategies involves substitution of insulin-producing islet-cells by transplantation therapy. But the lack of fresh feasible donor material coupled with problems of immunocompatibility and life-long immunosuppression to thwart graft rejection has made the widespread application of both techniques nearly unfeasible. These restrictions have led to exploration of other sources of β-cells. Of late, stem cells have generated incredible interest for repairing failing tissues and organs. In this article, we review the diverse approaches in the field of stem cells developed to create insulin producing cells for the treatment of diabetes.

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