Stem cell research in Georgetown University, Washington DC suggests that the stem cells found in a male reproductive region may be able to replace the damaged insulin producing beta islet cells.
The study is comprised of two major steps over a course of five weeks.
For the first two weeks the spermatagonial stem cells (SSCs) from the testes are de-differentiated to form cells similar to embryos, giving them the ability to potentially form into any kind of cell. And, in a span of three weeks, the cells produced will then be exposed to specific conditions which ensure growth of beta islet cells.
From one gram of testicle tissue, the researchers effectively produced more than one billion beta islet cell that successfully treated a diabetic mouse.
The researchers were able to decrease blood sugar levels of mice for nearly one week using the beta islet cells.
The creation of beta islet cells was performed in previous studies through the use of genetic manipulation on stem cells, but this study did not use genetic manipulation on SSC to produce the beta islet cells and that is the great breakthrough.
The research has not translated into work with humans and the scientists are not yet sure of the success of the study at this early stage.
However, they have high hopes that the study will be a significant lead to finding a cure for diabetes.