Author(s): Lock LT, Tzanakakis ES
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Abstract Patients with diabetes experience decreased insulin secretion that is linked to a significant reduction in the number of islet cells. Reversal of diabetes can be achieved through islet transplantation, but the scarcity of donor islets severely hinders wide application of this therapeutic modality. Toward that end, embryonic stem cells, adult tissue-residing progenitor cells, and regenerating native beta-cells may serve as sources of islet cell surrogates. Insulin-producing cells generated from stem or progenitor cells display subsets of native beta-cell attributes, indicating the need for further development of methods for differentiation to completely functional beta-cells. Pharmacological approaches aiming at stimulating the in vivo/ex vivo regeneration of beta-cells have also been proposed as a way of augmenting islet cell mass. We review the current state of the generation of insulin-producing cells from different sources with emphasis on embryonic stem cells and adult progenitor cells. Challenges for the clinical use of these sources are also discussed.
This article was published in Tissue Eng
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy