Type 1 diabetes treatments based on stem cells

Miriam Araña, Anujith Kumar, Ashwini Ashwathnarayan, Maher Atari, Miguel Barajas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: More than a decade ago, a new research field named Stem Cell Therapy emerged in Health Science. Initially, it was considered that cells owned a differentiation capability; however, this dogma has changed when new results have been published regarding the ability of the cells to differentiate into different cell tissue mainly due to the novel reprogramming strategies. Accordingly, cells from an adult tissue source may be potentially capable of originating cells of a very different cell type. The possibility of transplanting these cells into damaged organs has triggered many studies to understand the plasticity of stem cells. Today, we have a deeper knowledge about stem cells, however still many questions, especially about the mechanism of action, that needs to be answered. The benefit of stem cells after transplantation has been demonstrated experimentally and also in some cases clinically; however, the extent of stem cell contribution in transplanted tissue has been found to be low and a large number of evidence indicates that a trophic effect should play an important role in such benefit. A better understanding of the paracrine mechanisms involved in this process could be of great relevance in order to focus studies on endogenous cells to direct their function towards the regeneration of damaged tissue. In addition, even more sophisticated methods of reprogramming and cell transplantation have been initiated in combination with bioengineering techniques in order to enhance the potential of these cells. Conclusion: In the present review, we will overview the studies on stem cell and their effects in the treatment of diabetes in order to discuss the questions generated about their origin and the mechanisms that are involved in their reparative properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-02-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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