Pancreatic islet breakthrough based on iPS cells bodes well for diabetics


Japanese researchers have succeeded in generating a pancreatic islet for controlling blood sugar levels using induced pluripotent stem cells, known as iPS cells.

The team involving Atsushi Miyajima, a professor at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the University of Tokyo, and Ami Watanabe, a researcher at the institute, confirmed Sunday that the pancreatic islet functioned properly and lowered blood sugar levels to normal once transplanted into a mouse with a type of diabetes.

Their findings will be presented to the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine on Friday, they said.

The team intends to develop methods for mass producing pancreatic islets so diabetes can be treated cheaper via transplantation, while working toward shortening the one-month period normally required to make pancreatic islets.

The team succeeded in generating a three-dimensional conformation unique to pancreatic islets.