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Diabetic Monkey cured with Pig Cells – Possible cure for Diabetes type 1

February 28th, 2006

Diabetic Monkey’s cured with Pig Cells – Possible cure for Diabetes type 1

Insulin Injection

Researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Diabetes Institute for Immunology and Transplantation were successful at curing diabetes in monkeys using islet cells from pigs.  First reported online in the February 19th issue of Nature Medicine the researchers hope to begin human trials in the next three years.

There has been success previously in reversing type 1 diabetes in humans; however there would not be enough islet cells available for transplantation to treat the number of people that need the treatment.  The hope is that islet cells from pigs would work.


"These results suggest it is feasible to use pig islet cells as a path to a far-reaching cure for diabetes," said Bernhard J. Hering, M.D., associate professor of surgery and lead investigator. "Now that we have identified critical pathways involved in immune recognition and rejection of pig islet transplants, we can begin working on better and safer immunosuppressant therapies with the eventual goal of bringing the treatment to people."


Spring Point Project is a non-profit corporation that is setting up to raise pigs that would be of extremely good health for the transplants for humans.  It is building biosecure facilities which meet the federal requirements when animal tissue is used for humans.  It is in hopes that the researchers at the University will be ready to begin trials when the pigs are ready for transplantation.

Islet transplantation has cured type 1 diabetes; the researchers say possibly type 2 as well.  The islet cells if successfully transplanted would be able to monitor glucose levels and will release the amount of insulin needed.  Once a transplant is successful, the person would not have to take insulin injections any longer.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM