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Development. 2007 Feb;134(3):427-38. Epub 2006 Dec 21.

Pancreas and beta-cell development: from the actual to the possible.

Author information

1
University of Utah, Department of Human Genetics, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. murtaugh@genetics.utah.edu

Abstract

The development of insulin-producing pancreatic beta (beta)-cells represents the culmination of a complex developmental program. Cells of the posterior foregut assume a pancreatic identity, cells within the expanding pancreatic primordia adopt an endocrine fate, and a subset of these precursors becomes competent to generate beta-cells. Postnatally, beta-cells are primarily maintained by self-duplication rather than new differentiation. Although major gaps in our knowledge still persist, experiments across several organisms have shed increasing light on the steps of beta-cell specification and differentiation. Increasing our understanding of the extrinsic, as well as intrinsic, mechanisms that control these processes should facilitate efforts to regenerate this important cell type in humans.

PMID:
17185316
DOI:
10.1242/dev.02770
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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