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Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2004 Jan-Feb;20(1):13-27.

Progenitor cells in the adult pancreas.

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Autoimmunity and Transplantation Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville 3050, Victoria, Australia.


The beta-cell mass in the adult pancreas possesses the ability to undergo limited regeneration following injury. Identifying the progenitor cells involved in this process and understanding the mechanisms leading to their maturation will open new avenues for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. However, despite steady advances in determining the molecular basis of early pancreatic development, the identification of pancreatic stem cells or beta-cell progenitors and the molecular mechanisms underlying beta-cell regeneration remain unclear. Recent advances in the directed differentiation of embryonic and adult stem cells has heightened interest in the possible application of stem cell therapy in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Drawing on the expanding knowledge of pancreas development, beta-cell regeneration and stem cell research, this review focuses on progenitor cells in the adult pancreas as a potential source of beta-cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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