Fresh research has revealed that maternal cells passed down from mother to child during the course of pregnancy could have a role to play in treating insulin-dependent diabetes . In the future, according to researchers, this could allow mothers to provide stem cells to treat their diabetic children.
This could open up a whole new treatment spectrum for those people who suffer from type 1 diabetes. The phenomenon is called ‘microchimerism,’ and is defined as the harbouring of cells/DNA that originate from a separate person who is genetically distinct.
Scientists conducting the trial examined over 170 individuals, and also examined pancreatic tissues from deceased males. They found female islet beta cells that were able to produce insulin. The study was conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
One researcher, Dr. Nelso, reportedly said: “We think the maternal cells may be helping to regenerate tissue in the pancreas. The child is probably tolerant to the mother’s half-matched cells because the child acquired the cells during its life as a foetus while its immune system was still developing.”
The results were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. the results could alter the future of healthcare for diabetics .

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