Home > Uses for Stem Cells > Bone Marrow Stem Cells and Diabetes

Bone Marrow Stem Cells and Diabetes

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 3 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
Bone Marrow Stem Cells Diabetic Diabetes

The prevalence of diabetes has been growing and the goal of finding a cure or more effective treatment than current options has become increasingly important. Ongoing research since the turn of the century has shown that when diabetic mice are injected with bone marrow stem cells the stem cells were able to restore function to damaged tissues. The findings are exciting for both researchers and those who suffer from diabetes. It is hoped that continuing trials and research will eventually bring effective treatments to the public.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes refers to a condition whereby the body can’t produce the hormone insulin or the body’s cells are resistant to its effects. For type 1 diabetics, their pancreas doesn’t produce the insulin required to keep blood sugar within its preferred, finely tuned range. In type 2 diabetes, insulin production generally occurs, albeit abnormally – but the body’s cells can’t properly use the hormone to regulate blood sugar. Diabetics may be insulin dependent, where they require daily doses of insulin to balance out their food consumption, or they may be able to manage their condition with diet and exercise. The complications of diabetes are, however, enormous. Diabetes has a high morbidity, with complications ranging from circulatory problems, nerve problems and heart disease to blindness. In addition, the daily challenge of monitoring lifestyle and taking insulin when required can be mentally and physically exhausting for many diabetics.

Benefits of Stem Cells for Diabetes

Studies in both Canada and the United States found that when stem cells were injected into the bloodstream of diabetic mice, the stem cells found their way to the damaged pancreas, where they were able to prompt the growth of new cells. It’s thought that something in the bone marrow somehow activates the regeneration of cells. In one study, the symptoms of diabetes were reversed within two weeks of the mice receiving bone marrow stem cell injections. Their high blood sugar levels were reduced to almost normal values and their insulin levels were raised. Even more interesting was that the cell growth wasn’t from the injected cells themselves. Rather, the injected stem cells triggered the production of cells in the recipient’s own pancreas. The results were particularly fascinating to researchers also because when stem cells were injected in healthy, non diabetic mice, there was no change.

It’s almost as though the stem cells were ‘intelligent,’ in that they sought out the damaged tissue and triggered the new cell growth. Another benefit of using bone marrow stem cells is that they can be harvested from the patient’s own bone marrow, cultivated in the lab environment and then injected back into the patient, where they can travel to the damaged pancreas and stimulate healthy cell growth. This helps to avoid the problems associated with immunological rejection, where the recipient’s body recognizes the injected cells as foreign and launches an attack.

Research Complications

Because it literally takes decades of research and trials before a new drug is introduced to the public, it will be some time before this treatment would be available for diabetics, assuming that human trails are successful. Given both the short and long term complications of diabetes, however, the research still provides hope that we may one day find a cure for diabetes.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi, I have a 3 yr old child with type 1, just wondering if theres any private clinics or someway I could pay for this stem cell treatment to be used on my child. I understand that it has already been trialed on adults with sucess.
chris - 16-Jul-16 @ 9:49 AM
Can stem cell reverse type 2 diabetes? One organisation Phytosciece is claiming to use stem cell to reverse diabetes. Can the claim be independently confirmed?
GMC - 4-Jun-16 @ 5:29 PM
Is there any stem cell treatment for DIABETIC TYPE 1 . If any treatment please guide me
HARIYA - 13-Mar-16 @ 11:35 AM
We have the opportunity to travel to UK, any recommendations for clinics where stem cells procedures are performed would be beneficial, in either trial or experimental mode.
Diva - 3-Feb-16 @ 5:23 AM
Faggatris - Your Question:
Wehn I was a yong man I have cancer in the ear, my fahter beat me very hard to help me heer. I go to hospitl in phiplilines. I ned sttem cell reserach to help my ear, pls help.

Our Response:
I'm afraid as we are based in the UK, we do not have information on hospitals or research centres based in the Phillipines. However, stem cell research is still in the very early statges and not fully available as a treatment yet. Good luck in your search.
ExploreStemCells - 18-Nov-15 @ 10:58 AM
wehn i was a yong man i have cancer in the ear, my fahter beat me very hard to help me heer. i go to hospitl in phiplilines. i ned sttem cell reserach to help my ear, pls help.
Faggatris - 17-Nov-15 @ 3:45 PM
hello my name is miguel an i ahve type i diabettys and i ned good hospitl to half stem cell reserach. please help
Miguel - 16-Nov-15 @ 4:05 PM
is there any stem cell therapy for my daughter 11 with 1st type diabetes in the best clinic round the world
aianm - 27-Oct-15 @ 6:55 PM
Stem cell researchis scientifically proven to help
Professor Hoffman - 17-Mar-15 @ 8:10 AM
@NAIR - I'm afraid we are a UK-based website and don't have information on stem-cell treatment centres in Canada ( if any actually exist). You would have to do an online search.
ExploreStemCells - 25-Feb-15 @ 11:31 AM
Please let me know about Stemcell tratment centers in Canada where successfully done treatmemt for Type II
NAIR - 23-Feb-15 @ 11:04 AM
wish to know more about srem therepy
jagmohan - 9-Aug-14 @ 7:18 AM
i wish to know more of stem therpy benifits
jagmohan - 9-Aug-14 @ 7:14 AM
can i know more about use of stem cells in the treatment of type1 diabeties?
prags - 4-Aug-14 @ 2:28 PM
Thalassemia pesiont ko agar dibities ho to woska bone marow ho sakta hai ka?
Kumar - 28-Jun-14 @ 3:22 PM
I have been searching for stemcell treatment for diabetes. I founf some "providers that appear to be scammers, but I also found places that have been providing this treatment to humans wwith what I consider professional and scientific approach. If some day you need a person to begin testing I would like to try... unless I had already do it in Argentina. I wish you success!
EF - 24-Jun-14 @ 8:04 PM
Hello i am a diabitic person and am looking for a good centre to proceed with this new way am still taking mediciens am wandering if you could help me finding a good place in Los angilous USA
Amir - 8-May-14 @ 1:19 PM
Good articles on Stem Cell Research. Just wanted to know if stem cell has progressed in developing Spinal disc in cervical region ...this is mainly pertaining to disc degeneration diseases..
Sunny - 4-Mar-14 @ 5:22 AM
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