Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Andrew Elefanty (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Leonard Harrison Prof Martin Pera

Brief description They aim to create insulin-secreting B cells by identifying their progenitor cells and the moleculaes normally required for their development, in order to restore B-cell function in the people with type 1 diabetes. Mouse and human multipotent embryonic stem (ES) cells and fetal mouse panceas and adult pancreas duct cells will be used as sources of progenitor B cells. Comparative studies will provide a more complete picture of human B-cell ontogeny. Culture systems developed for ES cells-embryoid bodies (EB) - EB-derived cells, fetal pancreas and adult pancreas duct cells, will be employed to screen for and identify novel growth-differentiation factors and to optimise parameters for creating B cells in vitro or (re) generating B cells in vivo. Genetic constructs allowing regulated expression of fluorescently-tagged marker genes and growth-transcription factors will be introduced into cultured cells or transgenic mice to enable progenitor B cells to be tracked and isolated. Progenitor B cells will be typed with panels of known novel markers molecules at the gene and protein level, and gene expression profiles of tissue yielding B cells will be analysed across time to reveal further candidate markers. Molecules and methods effective in mouse systems will be applied to human ES cell-derived or pancreatic duct cells. The capacity to progenitor cells or insulin-secreting cells to ameliorate diabetes when transplanted into the testis, under the kidney capsule or into the pancreas of mouse models would represent proof-of-concept. Functional B cells derived from human ERS cells or pancreas duct cells, or growth factors that regenerate B cells in vivo, could together with appropriate immunotherapy restore B-cell function in people with type 1 diabetes.

Funding Amount $AUD 4,260,000.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Strategic Awards

Notes Diabetes Collaborative Research Grants

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