The retention of endogenous insulin secretion in type 1 diabetes is an attractive clinical goal, which opens possibilities for long-term restoration of glucose metabolism. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) constitute, based on animal studies, a promising interventional strategy for the disease. This prospective clinical study describes the translation of this cellular intervention strategy to patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes. Twenty adult patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes were enrolled and randomized to MSC treatment or to the control group. Residual β-cell function was analyzed as C-peptide concentrations in blood in response to a mixed-meal tolerance test (MMTT) at 1-year follow-up. In contrast to the patients in the control arm, who showed loss in both C-peptide peak values and C-peptide when calculated as area under the curve during the 1st year, these responses were preserved or even increased in the MSC-treated patients. Importantly, no side effects of MSC treatment were observed. We conclude that autologous MSC treatment in new-onset type 1 diabetes constitutes a safe and promising strategy to intervene in disease progression and preserve β-cell function.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01068951.
© 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.