Insulin gene therapy for type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Exp Clin Transplant 2015 Apr;13 Suppl 1:37-45

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is an autoimmune disease resulting from the destruction of pancreatic β cells. Current treatments for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus include daily insulin injections or whole pancreas transplant, each of which are associated with profound drawbacks. Insulin gene therapy, which has shown great efficacy in correcting hyperglycemia in animal models, holds great promise as an alternative strategy to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus in humans. Insulin gene therapy refers to the targeted expression of insulin in non-β cells, with hepatocytes emerging as the primary therapeutic target. In this review, we present an overview of the current state of insulin gene therapy to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus, including the need for an alternative therapy, important features dictating the success of the therapy, and current obstacles preventing the translation of this treatment option to a clinical setting. In so doing, we hope to shed light on insulin gene therapy as a viable option to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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April 2015
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