Sperm Cells, the Cure for Diabetes?
Diabetes is one of the problems many people experience, and can be categorized in different ways such as Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is the condition wherein the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by this organ to ensure that sugar will be properly absorbed by the body and used for energy production. Various insulin products are produced today to help treat this condition.
Studies in creating Type 1 Diabetes have been done by various experts. One of the recent studies done with the aim of managing this condition is to attempt to link sperm stem cells as a means to aid insulin production. Insulin is produced by the islets of Langerhans found in the pancreas and the goal of this study is to transfer sperm stem cells from the testes to the pancreas and make them work in secreting insulin.
Ian Gallicano, Ph.D. and Shenglin Chen, Ph.D. indicated how it is possible to produce insulin by incorporating sperm stem cells into the pancreas. Sperm stem cells are the precursor or the pre-sperm formation. This study conducted by these Georgetown University Washington scientists aimed to promote insulin levels in the hopes of people suffering from Type 1 Diabetes.
Gallicano and colleagues conducted the tests on mice that are diabetic, or those that don’t produce enough insulin. Human sperm stem cells were extracted and then experimented with in order to transform them into cells that can develop into other forms. At this point, these sperm stem cells have the ability to develop into other cell types, which in this case, the cells that promote insulin production in the pancreas. Performing this procedure on sperm stem cells take around two weeks.
However, apart from just engineering these cells to transform to cells with these capabilities, the mice that will receive these sperm stem cells have been manipulated clinically to remove their immune system. The mice’s immune system could have rejected the incorporation of these cells, so they must remove the variable that could cause the test to be unsuccessful.
The results show that mice with these newly acquired sperm cells showed good results and produced a good amount of insulin to prevent the diabetes problem. This is a positive result at this point, but there is still a limitation in terms of this study. The amount of insulin level produced with the sperm stem cells may not be enough when this is done on humans. In general, this is still a good study to start with, especially since more people are experiencing this problem. Developing this test will certainly be beneficial to humans in the end.
In conclusion, sperm stem cells can be a good solution for producing insulin among patients who need them. However, it is vital to remember that this is still limited to animals such as mice and therefore still in its infancy stages. Fortunately, today there are still lots of insulin products that can help patients with their insulin problem and in managing Type I diabetes.