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Human Umbilical Cord Blood as an Emerging Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetes Mellitus

[ Vol. 5 , Issue. 4 ]


Alluru S. Reddi, Kishore Kuppasani and Norman Ende   Pages 356 - 361 ( 6 )


Cellular therapy for patients with diabetes is receiving great attention among scientists and clinicians. Bone marrow is considered one of the rich sources of stem cells. However, the limited availability of bone marrow donors precludes its use for all the suitable patients. Human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) is being increasingly used as an alternative source of stem cells for cell-based therapy for malignant and nonmalignant diseases. HUCB is preferred to bone marrow because of its easy availability, low potential for graft-versushost disease and tumorigenicity as well as infectious complications. Furthermore, no immunosuppression is required. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that HUCB-derived stem cells can differentiate into insulin-secreting β-cells. Administration of HUCB cells has been shown to improve blood glucose levels in diabetic animals. The first use of autologous HUCB transfusion in type 1 diabetic children is showing promise in reducing the daily requirement of insulin dose and the maintenance of near normoglycemia over a short period of time. The time has come for more clinical trials using autologous and allogenic cord blood transfusion to treat diabetes mellitus.


Human umbilical cord blood, stem cells, diabetes mellitus, differentiation, β-cells, regulatory T cells, bone marrow, clinical trials, autoimmune disorder, immunosuppressive therapy, insulin production, blood glucose, islet cell, pancreas transplantation, nonmalignant diseases, USE OF HUCB, Fanconi anemia, cytokines, DIABETES TREATMENT, nonobese diabetic, abolition of insulitis, highest dose, glucose tolerance test, low dose, glomerular hypertrophy, diabetic neuropathy, saline-injected side, hindlimb, proliferation, incorporation into vasculature, cell cycle, low graft-versus-host, cell-mediated, co-cultured autologous, leukocytes in pancreatic islets, T cells, limiting factors, anemia, microalbuminuria, posttransplantation, gastroduodenal artery


Department of Medicine, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Avenue, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.

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