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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Apr 29;271(1):116-9.

Nestin-expressing cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans.

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StemTech Zürich, MARWAS AG, Zentralstrasse 141, Zürich, 8003, Switzerland.


The pancreatic islets of Langerhans produce several peptide hormones, predominantly the metabolically active hormones insulin and glucagon, which are critical for maintaining normal fuel homeostasis. Some evidence exists that pancreatic endocrine cells turn over at a slow rate and can regenerate in certain conditions. This could be due to the presence of pluripotent cells residing in the pancreas. Recently the intermediate filament protein nestin has been identified to be a marker for a multipotent stem cell in the central nervous system. Given the similarity between the pancreatic islets and neuronal cells, we hypothesized that stem cells expressing nestin might be present in the pancreas. Here we present evidence that a subset of cells in the pancreatic islets express the stem cell marker nestin. These cells might serve as precursors of differentiated pancreatic endocrine cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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