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Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2010 Feb;15(1):79-85. doi: 10.1097/MOT.0b013e3283344932.

Regenerating pancreatic beta-cells: plasticity of adult pancreatic cells and the feasibility of in-vivo neogenesis.

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1
Section of Islet Transplantation and Cell Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Diabetes results from inadequate functional mass of pancreatic beta-cells and therefore replenishing with new glucose-responsive beta-cells is an important therapeutic option. In addition to replication of pre-existing beta-cells, new beta-cells can be produced from differentiated adult cells using in-vitro or in-vivo approaches. This review will summarize recent advances in in-vivo generation of beta-cells from cells that are not beta-cells (neogenesis) and discuss ways to overcome the limitations of this process.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Multiple groups have shown that adult pancreatic ducts, acinar and even endocrine cells exhibit cellular plasticity and can differentiate into beta-cells in vivo. Several different approaches, including misexpression of transcription factors and tissue injury, have induced neogenesis of insulin-expressing cells in vivo and ameliorated diabetes.

SUMMARY:

Recent breakthroughs demonstrating cellular plasticity of adult pancreatic cells to form new beta-cells are a positive first step towards developing in-vivo regeneration-based therapy for diabetes. Currently, neogenesis processes are inefficient and do not generate sufficient amounts of beta-cells required to normalize hyperglycemia. However, an improved understanding of mechanisms regulating neogenesis of beta-cells from adult pancreatic cells and of their maturation into functional glucose-responsive beta-cells can make therapies based on in-vivo regeneration a reality.

PMID:
19907327
PMCID:
PMC2834213
DOI:
10.1097/MOT.0b013e3283344932
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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