Comprehensive coverage

We may finally have found a use for the spleen: aiding in the production of insulin

Juvenile diabetes/ the possibility of a breakthrough

"This strange organ, the spleen, now has a new and surprising role besides the useless churning of white blood cells" - this is what Dr. Dennis Faustman announced at the end of the week. He headed an experiment, at the end of which researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported a breakthrough in the treatment of type 1 diabetes, also known as "juvenile diabetes" or "insulin-dependent diabetes."

The researchers injected into the pancreas of a mouse with type 1 diabetes, cells taken from the spleen of healthy mice. They found that the spleen cells caused the creation of new beta cells (B cells), which are responsible for the production of insulin and which do not work in those with the disease. "Our findings may have implications for the treatment of type 1 diabetes patients and patients with other autoimmune diseases," the researchers wrote in Science magazine.
Diabetes has been known for hundreds of years and documentation of it can be found in ancient medical writings. At the end of the 19th century, the connection between the pancreas and diabetes was discovered, and in 1921, four doctors managed to isolate and use the hormone secreted by the pancreas: insulin. The discovery won them the Nobel Prize in 1923

Insulin is active in muscle cells, fat cells and liver cells. It lowers the glucose level in the blood, when it allows glucose to enter the cells and accelerates the energy production processes in them. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly identifies the beta cells as a foreign agent that must be attacked. The system sends T cells that attack the beta cells and destroy them. As a result, there is a lack of insulin in the blood, the sugar level rises and destroys organs in the body. The treatment for this type of diabetes is insulin injections, which restore the required insulin.

The researchers from MGH explain in their article that from a previous study done in 2001 it was not clear whether injecting spleen cells into the pancreas restores the beta cells that were not destroyed by the immune system, or causes the production of new beta cells. According to them, the current experiment makes it clear that the second hypothesis is correct.

They injected the pancreas of a type 1 diabetic mouse with cells from the spleen of a healthy male mouse. The researchers then prepared to transplant cells into the pancreas, but soon it turned out that this was not necessary: ​​the cells from the injected spleen "reprogrammed" the immune system and ordered it to stop attacking the newly created beta cells - and these began to produce insulin. In this way they managed to cure 11 different mice. Subsequent tests confirmed the fact that the origin of the new cells was in the spleen cells of the male mouse.

According to Faustman, "the spleen is a source of cells that accelerate the regeneration of insulin-producing cells." In an interview with the "Boston Globe" newspaper, the researchers said that they were unable to raise the required amount of money, approximately $10 million, to begin the next research phase: testing the innovative treatment on approximately 40 type 1 diabetes patients.
At the end of the week, the World Health Organization published a report ahead of International Diabetes Day, which states that in the next 30 years, the disease could affect 285 million people - compared to the 115 million people with diabetes today (of type 1 and 2). According to the data of the Israeli Diabetes Association, there are approximately 400 patients in Israel, and another 200 who are unaware of their condition.

One response

  1. Today is 3/2011 and you published the news in 2003
    Dr. Dennis Faustman's groundbreaking research in which he succeeded in curing mice of diabetes has progressed ever since
    Bodies such as the American Juvenile Diabetes Association and competing researchers tried to prevent her from continuing and even blocked her - however, thanks to support from the Ikoka Foundation, the research continued.
    In the book "The Autoimmune Epidemic" published by Foxo, it is written that in 2012 the clinical research phase in humans will end
    Can you post a current status report? Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.