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Med Sci (Paris). 2013 Aug-Sep;29(8-9):749-55. doi: 10.1051/medsci/2013298014. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

[Reprogramming pancreatic cells to β cells].

[Article in French]

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Université Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France.


Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is a common metabolic disorder affecting an ever-increasing number of patients worldwide. T1DM is caused by the selective destruction of pancreatic insulin-producing β-cells by the immune system. Such loss results in chronic hyperglycemia and could induce a number of cardio-vascular complications. Despite the classical insulin-based therapy, compared to healthy people, patients with T1DM display a shortened life expectancy due to the treatment's inability to strictly regulate glycemic levels. An alternative therapy involves pancreatic islet transplantation but the shortage of donors and the required immuno-suppressive treatments limit the widespread use of this approach. Therefore, the search of new approaches to generate functional β-cells is of growing interest. In this review, we describe several novel strategies aiming at the conversion of diverse pancreatic cells into β-cells, such as acinar, ductal, and endocrine cells. Clearly, such promising results could open new research avenues in the context of type 1 diabetes research.

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