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Front Physiol. 2019 Mar 12;10:218. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00218. eCollection 2019.

Pancreatic Stellate Cells: A Rising Translational Physiology Star as a Potential Stem Cell Type for Beta Cell Neogenesis.

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Department of Endocrinology, Zhongda Hospital, Institute of Diabetes, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.
State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.
Department of Outpatient, Army Engineering University, Jingling Hospital, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.
Graduate Innovation Platform of Southeast University, Nanjing, China.


The progressive decline and eventual loss of islet β-cell function underlies the pathophysiological mechanism of the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The recovery of functional β-cells is an important strategy for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Based on similarities in developmental biology and anatomy, in vivo induction of differentiation of other types of pancreatic cells into β-cells is a promising avenue for future diabetes treatment. Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs), which have attracted intense research interest due to their effects on tissue fibrosis over the last decade, express multiple stem cell markers and can differentiate into various cell types. In particular, PSCs can successfully differentiate into insulin- secreting cells in vitro and can contribute to tissue regeneration. In this article, we will brings together the main concepts of the translational physiology potential of PSCs that have emerged from work in the field and discuss possible ways to develop the future renewable source for clinical treatment of pancreatic diseases.


activation; pancreatic stellate cell; physiological functions; quiescent; stem/progenitor cell; β-cells neogenesis

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