Georgetown Univeristy Logo The health world seems to have stumbled upon an astonishing discovery. Researchers from the Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) claim that men diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can grow their own insulin-producing cells from the testicular tissue. This strategy can possibly offer a novel solution for treating individuals with type 1 diabetes also known as juvenile onset diabetes.

Having conducted a laboratory and animal investigation, it was concluded that human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) extracted from testicular tissue can morph into insulin-secreting beta islet cells. Such insulin-secreting beta islet cells may usually be found in the pancreas. Scientists claim to have not used any extra genes to transform adult stem cells into a tissue of choice. No stem cells, adult or embryonic are supposedly induced to secrete enough insulin for treating diabetes in humans.

Researchers aim to introduce a unique solution for treating individuals with type 1 diabetes. Though currently available therapies are probably able to tackle juvenile onset diabetes, each has its own set of drawbacks. Diabetes in mice was supposedly treated by using induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells. Adult stem cells reprogrammed with other genes seemingly act like embryonic stem cells.

G. Ian Gallicano, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and director of the Transgenic Core Facility at GUMC lead investigator, and colleagues believe that this technique can produce teratomas, or tumors, in transfected tissue, along with problems stemming from the external genes used to create IPS cells. At the time of the research, the SSCs were retrieved from deceased human organ donors. On taking these cells out of the testes niche, they seem to get confused, and will form all three germ layers within several weeks. Researchers employed 1 gram of tissue from human testes and supposedly produced about 1 million stem cells in the laboratory. Cells were then transplanted into the back of immune deficient diabetic mice. A reduction in glucose levels was registered within a period of one week.

The research was presented at the American Society of Cell Biology’s 50th annual meeting in Philadelphia.