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J Clin Invest. 2011 Sep;121(9):3395-7. doi: 10.1172/JCI58899. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Finally! A human pancreatic β cell line.

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  • 1Section on Islet Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Joslin Diabetes Center, and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


For decades, investigators have made numerous attempts to generate human pancreatic β cell lines that could be used to advance β cell biology, facilitate drug discovery, and provide a pathway to β cell replacement therapy for the treatment of diabetes. In this issue of the JCI, Ravassard and colleagues report that this has finally been achieved successfully with a multistep process that led to the generation of cells, which they termed EndoC-βH1 cells, that secreted insulin in response to glucose challenge.

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