A study conducted by the University of Exeter, was the first to study for the study of diabetes, not animal cells, but human. The team discovered that the cell-to-cell messaging system, which tells proteins how to behave, is being violated in diabetes.
The changes have resulted in some beta cells no longer producing insulin, which controls blood sugar, but producing somatostatin, a substance that blocks the production of important hormones, including insulin itself.
The team studied what happens to human beta cells when exposed to an environment that models type 2 diabetes. Previously, scientists thought that beta cell death, which occurs in both types of diabetes, is associated with the negative effects of the microenvironment.
However, it has now become clear that part of the beta cells is not actually dying. The team discovered for the first time that some of them simply stopped being beta cells. They started to produce another hormone called somatostatin. This substance is characteristic of another cell type, the delta. That's why scientists in the study of diabetes no longer see the changed beta cells and take them for delta.
The team analyzed pancreatic pancreatic tissue in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This showed that they have more delta cells than they should be. This led scientists to the idea that some of the insulin-producing cells actually survive and simply change the mechanisms of vital activity.
In the next phase, the team investigated why cells could change the mechanism of their work. It turned out to be a matter of & # 39; messages & # 39; to be those cells that exchange with each other using RNA molecules. An analysis of pancreatic cells from people with type 2 diabetes showed that about a quarter of the genes have a disturbed "message" structure. The authors of the work suggest that this may be the reason why cells with impaired "communication" behave differently.
But most importantly, the researchers were able to reverse these changes. They treated the cells with different substances and restored their environment. The delta cells then returned to beta and began to produce insulin. Such a technique could save millions of people from diabetes in the future. But the development of such a therapy requires further research that will make it possible to understand the subtleties of the mechanism of the transition of cells from one type to another.