Long term effects of the implantation of Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord for newly-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus

Endocr J. 2013;60(3):347-57. doi: 10.1507/endocrj.ej12-0343. Epub 2012 Nov 16.


Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is an autoimmune disorder resulted from T cell-mediated destruction of pancreatic β-cells, how to regenerate β-cells and prevent the autoimmune destruction of remnant and neogenetic β-cells is a tough problem. Immunomodulatory propertity of mesenchymal stem cell make it illuminated to overcome it. We assessed the long-term effects of the implantation of Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) from the umbilical cord for Newly-onset T1DM. Twenty-nine patients with newly onset T1DM were randomly divided into two groups, patients in group I were treated with WJ-MSCs and patients in group II were treated with normal saline based on insulin intensive therapy. Patients were followed-up after the operation at monthly intervals for the first 3 months and thereafter every 3 months for the next 21 months, the occurrence of any side effects and results of laboratory examinations were evaluated. There were no reported acute or chronic side effects in group I compared with group II, both the HbA1c and C peptide in group I patients were significantly better than either pretherapy values or group II patients during the follow-up period. These data suggested that the implantation of WJ-MSCs for the treatment of newly-onset T1DM is safe and effective. This therapy can restore the function of islet β cells in a longer time, although precise mechanisms are unknown, the implantation of WJ-MSCs is expected to be an effective strategy for treatment of type1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / surgery*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / physiology
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Postprandial Period
  • Umbilical Cord / cytology*
  • Wharton Jelly / cytology*
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin