Insulin-Producing Cells Endure in Type 1
Most people with type 1 diabetes maintain some functional insulin-producing beta cells even if they’ve had diabetes for a long time. Until recently, scientists believed that the misfiring immune system in type 1 diabetes completely obliterated the beta cells, destroying all insulin production. But newer, supersensitive tests for C-peptide, a sign of insulin production, are proving that beta cells are tough. In this study, researchers tested C-peptide levels before and after a meal in 74 people who’d had type 1 for at least five years. They detected C-peptide in 73 percent of participants overall and in 68 percent of people who’d had diabetes for 30 years or more. This finding supports the idea that either some beta cells stick around in type 1 or are regenerated, offering new possibilities for developing treatments for the disease.
Source: Diabetologia, October 2013