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Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2012 May;7(3):179-90.

Mesenchymal stem cell-based therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, Hematology Unit, Jeddah, Kingdome of Saudi Arabia.


The pathophysiology of Type 1 diabetes (T1D) appears largely related to an innate defect in the immune system culminating in a loss of self tolerance and destruction of the insulin producing β-cells. Currently, there is no definitive cure for diabetes. Insulin injection does not mimic the precise regulation of β-cells on glucose homeostasis, leading long term to the development of complications. Other therapeutic approaches therefore, are necessary and cell therapy is thought to be a possible approach. In this sense, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can offer a promising possibility that deserves to be explored. MSCs are multipotent non-hematopoietic progenitor cells. Their therapeutic potentials have recently been brought into the spotlights of many fields of research. Although the regenerative capabilities of MSCs have been a driving force to initiate studies testing their therapeutic effectiveness, their immunomodulatory properties have been equally exciting. MSCs possess specific immunomodulatory properties that would appear capable of disabling immune dysregulation that leads to β-cell destruction in T1D. Furthermore, MSCs can be sequentially cultured in specially defined conditions and their differentiation extends toward the β-cell phenotype and the formation of insulin producing cells (IPCs). To date, the role of MSCs in T1D remains completely unexplored. We herein summarize multiple strategies that have been proposed and tested for its potential therapeutic benefit for T1D.

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