Type 1 diabetes mellitus is an autoimmune disease that leads to the destruction of insulin-secreting pancreatic b-cells. Although the patient can survive with conventional insulin therapy, relatively poor blood glucose control leads to long-term complications for most diabetic patients. While intensive therapy effectively delays the onset, and slows the progression of chronic diabetic complications it is associated with increased risk of hypoglycemia and is hardly to achieve.
A major goal of current diabetes research is to generate an abundant source of glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells that can replace the destroyed b-cells. Thus, the present project aims at constructing ex vivo glucose-sensitive insulin secreting cells from liver cells and adipose cells, and transplanting them in diabetic animals. This has an obvious clinical importance.