Stem able to proliferate and renew on their own

Stem cells are self-renewing cells that can
develop into specialized cells in the human body, they are able to proliferate
and renew on their own for a long duration. Stem cells are used for growth and
repair in the body. Stem cells do not have a specific function. However, they
have the ability to differentiate to different cell types in order to take the
function as the cell that they become (URL2). There are two types of
naturally occurring stem cells in the human body; embryonic and adult
(tissue-specific). Embryonic stem cells are formed from the inner cell mass of
the blastocyst and adult stem cells appear during fetal development and do not
disappear during adult life (URL1).             Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent
cells that are responsible for the development of all of the organs and tissues
in the human body. Adult stem cells are not responsible for developing organs
and tissues but serve to repair the tissues that they are found in when disease
or injury occurs. However, adult stem cells do not divide infinitely so their
uses are not limitless (URL2). Mesenchymal stem cells are a type of
adult stem cell that develop into the skeletal tissue cells (URL1). Induced
pluripotent stem cells, iPSCs, are engineered stem cells that have the same
abilities of embryonic stem cells in that they are capable of producing all
cell types in the body, but are produced from viral strains. These engineered
cells are useful to scientists to study diseases, test medications, and further
learn about the human body (URL2). All of these stem cells have a medical
importance in the treatment of diseases, their ability to quickly
self-regenerate is useful in repairing damaged tissues, treating various
cancers and other diseases.

            Diabetes mellitus, type I diabetes
(T1D), is a highly prevalent polygenic disease among adults that causes many
complications and leads to a high death rate. It is caused by the gradual
destruction of ?-cells, impairing insulin production. Since the human body cannot function without
insulin, therapeutic methods have to be used to reverse these effects. Pancreatic
replacement is a common treatment for type I diabetes. Cadaver-derived cells
lend promising results, but there is a not a high enough supply of donor cells
for the treatment to continue being successful. Therefore, stem cells are used
because of their self-renewal capability (Chhabra and Brayman 2013). Kroon and
colleagues (2009) studied embryonic stem cells and their ability to produce
insulin secreting cells in-vivo in mice. Over a span of 3 months, ninety-two
percent of the rats studied had insulin levels that protected against induced
hyperglycemia because of the production of islet-like endocrine cells (Kroon et
al. 2009). Similarly, Rezania and colleagues (2012), also studied the effects of
embryonic stem cells on diabetes. Rezania and colleagues reported that the stem
cells differentiated to pancreatic progenitor cells, the cells developed into
insulin-producing cells in the presence of a diabetic environment when tested
on mice. (Rezania et al. 2012). This study, like that of Kroon and colleagues
(2009) shows how stem cells can adapt into functional pancreatic cells that are
able to treat diabetes. Like the embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem
cells also have the ability to treat diabetes. Jeon and colleagues (2012) used
diabetic mice to represent a type 1 diabetic human. Induced pluripotent stem
cells from pancreas epithelial cells differentiated into ?-cells. Once the
cells were implanted back into the mice, induced hyperglycemia normalized. This
study shows that treating the diabetic mice with iSPCs is beneficial for treatment
of diabetes (Jeon et al. 2012).  These
studies give potential treatment options for patients with diabetes mellitus
that suffer from hyperglycemia and need ?-cell replacement therapy.  

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