Study: Cell Insulin Production

Saw this on a JDRF email! Years away, but promising for conversion of cells to insulin production with no immuno attacks generated. Probably 10 years off, but possible…,.

JDRF-funded investigators in Australia showed in mouse/animal models that pancreatic cells called ductal cells (which don’t normally produce insulin) can be induced to produce and secrete insulin, like beta cells, using two drugs with FDA-approval for use in other diseases. Ductal cells are, crucially, not destroyed by the immune system in people with T1D


I read about this and my question is, do these repurposed cells secrete insulin in response to changes in blood glucose levels?

Insulinomas are islet cells that secrete unregulated insulin causing hypoglycemia. These insulin secreting ductal cells are ductal cells might be like an insulinoma, pouring out insulin in the bloodstream no matter the blood glucose levels.

If the cells do not respond to BG levels, there might be a use by converting a limited amount that would set a minimal basal rate. The advantage I see is lessening the possibility of DKA in T1DMs.

I read the scientific paper, but did not find an answer to my question.


I wondered this, too. I googled “EZH2 inhibitors (GSK 126 and Tazemetostat)” and found this article%20methyltransferase).

“Additionally, stimulated exocrine cells could secrete insulin in a glucose-responsive manner, indicating that glucose homeostasis and mature β-cell activity were functional in the exocrine tissues.”

So it appears that regulation IS in response to glucose, just what we need. The article also said that “Insulin secretion was elevated during drug stimulation and, although reduced after drug removal, remained higher than the control during glucose stimulation, suggesting a lasting impact on insulin secretion.

I added the bold font to emphasize that perhaps a patient would not need to be on the drugs indefinitely.

It also noted that this is only the second case study which implies more work is warranted. To me it does sound promising!


That’s what I didn’t see in the papers I read. That is better news. This may help some type 2s as well, like me, who have mostly disfunction Beta cells, probably not in my lifetime.


Yep, not mine either but there is hope for the youngsters here :slight_smile:


Or mine either

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Same for me and reason for my posting. Awareness prompts requests for more knowledge and research which leads to help ourselves and others! Thanks to those that asked questions and provided answers that I didn’t even think about! I’m grateful to both!