A new study has discovered cells in humans that can take over the work of damage insulin-producing cells.
The findings could pave way for the development of better treatments for diabetes - a condition caused when damaged or non-existing insulin cells are unable to produce insulin. It is an essential function to help regulate blood sugar levels. To regulate these levels, diabetes patients have to take insulin supplements.
However, the find by researchers from the University of Bergen in Norway is a total game changer. “We are possibly facing the start of a totally new form of treatment for diabetes, where the body can produce its own insulin, with some start-up help,” Luiza Ghila from the University of Bergen told a news portal.
“If we gain more knowledge about the mechanisms behind this cell flexibility, then we could possibly be able to control the process and change more cells’ identities so that more insulin can be produced,” Ghila further explained.
The team found that glucagon-producing cells in the pancreas have the ability to transform and adapt to be able to do the work of damages cells nearby. So far they say only two percent of the cells in the pancreas have this ability.
Nevertheless, the team is still hopeful the discovery will lead to better treatments options not only for diabetes but possibly other diseases.
Until then, the team is continuing their study to further understand the function and design of this exciting new find.