New insulin-producing beta-cell…

New insulin-producing beta-cell may improve diabetes treatment

New York, July 12 (IANS) Researchers have identified four separate sub-types of human insulin-producing beta-cells that may be important in the understanding and treatment of diabetes.

“This study marks the first description of several different kinds of human insulin-producing beta cells,” said Markus Grompe, stem cell scientist at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, US.

Diabetes, affecting millions worldwide, is caused by the dysfunction or loss of insulin producing beta-cells which help the body to achieve normal blood sugar levels.

Until now, beta-cells were generally regarded as a single, homogenous cell population.

The findings showed that hundreds of genes were differently expressed between cell subtypes and that they produced different amounts of insulin.

All type 2 diabetics had abnormal percentages of the subtypes, suggesting a possible role in the disease process.

“Some of the cells are better at releasing insulin than others, whereas others may regenerate quicker. Therefore, it is possible that people with different percentages of the subtypes are more prone to diabetes,” Grompe said.

Using human pancreatic islets, or clusters of up to 4,000 cells, the team discovered a method to identify and isolate four distinct types of beta cells.

Pancreatic beta-cells are the glucose-responsive, insulin-secreting metabolic cells.

“Further understanding of cell characteristics could be the key to uncovering new treatment options, as well as the reason why some people are diabetic and others are not,” Grompe added.

Additional research is also needed to determine how different forms of diabetes – and other diseases – affect the new cell subtypes, said a paper published in the journal ‘Nature Communications’.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here