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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jul;15(5):198-203.

Generating new pancreas from old.

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National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bldg 50/Room 4128, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Pancreas regeneration after tissue damage is a key response to pancreatic injury, involving pancreatic duct progenitor cells and intra-islet precursor cells. Surgical removal of the pancreas, duct obstruction by cellophane wrapping and bone marrow-derived stem cell transplantation act as inductive stimuli, leading to pancreas regeneration. The exact role of growth and differentiation factors regulating pancreatic beta-cell mass remains unknown. Here, I will attempt to integrate recent findings and speculate on the factors that trigger this fascinating response, wherein the pancreas responds to a deficit in cell mass and undergoes new islet formation, leading to restoration of normal beta-cell mass. I will also discuss recent advances in regenerating endocrine pancreatic cells, which could affect stem cell-based approaches to treating diabetes mellitus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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