Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and Texas A&M University have come across a mysterious soft tissue in the fetus that in the earlier stages of pregnancy that is vital to the formation of mature beta cells which are the body’s sole source of insulin.
This discovery could lead to new methods of treating Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The find was reported in the journal PloS Biology.
According to the scientists, this fetal tissue, which is known as mesenchyme, secretes chemical in the late developmental stages in mice. The chemicals are responsible for enabling beta cells that produce insulin to mature and propagate. If the mesenchyme is removed, a full complement of beta cells does not grow in the mice.