For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Preston
At UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Scientists Find Transplanting Umbilical Cord Blood Cells
May Be Effective Approach for Treating Both Type 1 and 2 Diabetes
1/27/05—In separate research studies, scientists at the University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) have found that transplanting umbilical cord
blood cells appears to produce positive results in treating both Type 1 and
Type 2 diabetes in animal models. Both studies were conducted in mice. The mice
are animal models of human disease.
In one study, intravenous administration of human umbilical cord blood cells
(HUBC) to non-obese mice with Type 1 diabetes resulted in significantly lowered
blood glucose levels and an increased lifespan as compared with untreated mice.
In the second study, intravenous administration of human umbilical cord blood
to obese mice with spontaneous development of Type 2 diabetes, lowered blood
glucose levels and an improved survival rates.
The studies were led by Dr. Norman Ende, professor of pathology and laboratory
medicine at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in Newark. The results were published
in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, the first study in October
2004, and the second in December 2004.
"The study involving Type 1 diabetes demonstrates for the first time a
dose-dependent decrease in blood glucose levels in mice that received HUBC,"
Dr. Ende said. "In fact none of the subjects that received the highest
dose died, which may be attributed to better control of glycemia. Also of note
is that none of the transplanted mice demonstrated clinical or histological
evidence of either acute or chronic graft vs. host disease." The mice
received only human cells without immunosuppression.
"The study involving the Type 2 diabetic mice showed not only improved
blood glucose levels and survival rates, but also improvements in the glomeruli
of the kidney," Dr. Ende said. "The impact on the kidney is particularly
interesting because, to our knowledge, no study has addressed the implications
of stem cell (human umbilical cord blood cell) therapy on kidney disease in
The other two researchers at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School who participated
in both studies were Dr. Ruifeng Chen of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory
Medicine and Dr. Allure S. Reddi of the Department of Medicine.
In discussing these findings, Dr. Ende raised the possibility that cells present
in all newborn babies after birth, which he calls Berashis ("In the Beginning")
cells, may hold the same potential for clinical treatment of human diseases
as that predicted for embryonic stem cells.
--January 27, 2005