Insulin cells are planted on the omentum

A new method of transplanting donor cells of the pancreas can reduce inflammatory complications.

Diabetes, as you know, there are two: the first type and the second type.

Type II diabetes occurs due to metabolic disorders (which, in turn, may appear due to poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle, etc.).

Type I diabetes develops because our own immune system suddenly attacks insulin-synthesizing pancreatic cells. There is no one to produce insulin, the blood sugar level is made unregulated, and so that it does not rise above the critical rate, the patient has to constantly make insulin injections of himself.

At first glance, it is much easier to cope with type I diabetes — simply insulin-synthesizing cells are transplanted into the patient to replace the dead. But then many questions immediately arise: how many cells to replace, where (to the pancreas for various reasons it is impossible), finally, what to do with immune rejection.

The studies here are very active; For example, a year ago we wrote about how donor insulin cells protected against immunity with special capsules, and last January we talked about trying to grow an entire pancreas in interspecific chimeras – again with the goal of removing insulin cells from under an immune strike.

The latest developments are being tested, of course, first of all, on animals, but in fact, even now doctors are transplanting donor insulin cells to patients. Usually they are injected into the liver, but the liver is not the best place: not a very large number of cells can be placed in it, there is a high risk of local bleeding and an inflammatory response, and quite a lot of immunosuppressive drugs are needed to protect alien guests from immunity.

Camillo Ricordi and employees from the Diabetes Institute at the University of Miami headed by him tried to plant insulin cells in another place, namely on the omentum, the fat fold of the peritoneum. This is really a convenient and easily accessible place for the “landing” of cells, which can be quite a lot and which need only somehow be fixed on the stuffing box.

The transplant was done to a woman of forty-three years old who had lived with type 1 diabetes for a quarter of a century. A mixture of the patient’s own blood plasma mixed with proteins of the blood coagulation system served as a kind of “cement” – as a result, a gel-like mass with cells inside was obtained, which strongly adhered to the omentum. Over time, the gel was absorbed, leaving the groups of cells synthesizing insulin to sit in their places.

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