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Diabetologia. 2016 Sep;59(9):1834-7. doi: 10.1007/s00125-016-3879-6. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

Sources of beta cells inside the pancreas.

Author information

1
Diabetes Research Center, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103, B1090, Brussels, Belgium.
2
Diabetes Research Center, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103, B1090, Brussels, Belgium. Harry.Heimberg@vub.ac.be.

Abstract

The generation of beta(-like) cells to compensate for their absolute or relative shortage in type 1 and type 2 diabetes is an obvious therapeutic strategy. Patients first received grafts of donor islet cells over 25 years ago, but this procedure has not become routine in clinical practice because of a donor cell shortage and (auto)immune problems. Transplantation of differentiated embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells may overcome some but not all the current limitations. Reprogramming exocrine cells towards functional beta(-like) cells would offer an alternative abundant and autologous source of beta(-like) cells. This review focuses on work by our research group towards achieving such a source of cells. It summarises a presentation given at the 'Can we make a better beta cell?' symposium at the 2015 annual meeting of the EASD. It is accompanied by two other reviews on topics from this symposium (by Amin Ardestani and Kathrin Maedler, DOI: 10.1007/s00125-016-3892-9 , and by Heiko Lickert and colleagues, DOI: 10.1007/s00125-016-3949-9 ) and a commentary by the Session Chair, Shanta Persaud (DOI: 10.1007/s00125-016-3870-2 ).

KEYWORDS:

(Trans)differentiation; Beta cells; Diabetes; Exocrine pancreas; Growth factors; Injury; Macrophages; Proliferation; Regeneration; Review; Transcription factors

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PMID:
27053238
DOI:
10.1007/s00125-016-3879-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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