The new source of islet cells

October 25, 2007

The shortage of islet cells limits the development of islet transplantation. One new approach was reported in the October 21 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology because of its great significance in enhancing the output of islet cells. This article will undoubtedly bring benefit to diabetic patients.

The article describes the differentiation of rat pancreatic ductal epithelial cells into insulin-producing cells by the transfection of PDX-1. In recent years, though great efforts have been made to differentiate embryonic stem cells, pancreatic ductal epithelial multipotent progenitor cells and bone marrow stem cells into islet cells, the process of cell differentiation and growth is long. Moreover, the amount of islet cells of differentiation, and the insulin released by islets, is not enough to meet the clinical needs.

To shorten the process of differentiation and enhance the output of insulin-producing cells and increase the amount of insulin-releasing, Dr Liu et al. transfected PDX-1 into primary pancreatic ductal epithelial cells and then differentiated the transfected cells into insulin-producing cells. In contrast, the expression of PDX-1 and insulin mRNA and protein were detectable in the transfected cells. Endogenous PDX-1 might play an important role during differentiation and the transfected cells can produce more insulin-releasing cells and release more insulin after induction.

The results of this study suggest a promising future for many diabetic patients who need islets transplantation. Due to the high percentage of diabetes mellitus and severe complications around the world, this case reported by Dr. Liu et al. is surely worth the attention of the researchers of diabetes.

Source: World Journal of Gastroenterology

Explore further: Coming soon: Cell therapies for diabetes, cancer?

Related Stories

Coming soon: Cell therapies for diabetes, cancer?

March 19, 2008

Therapies using stem cell transplants are advancing promising treatments for such conditions as Alzheimer’s Disease, neurological diseases and spinal cord injury, and heart disease. Now, scientists think that stem cell ...

The Stem Cells That Weren't There

May 7, 2007

Diabetes researchers, investigating how the body supplies itself with insulin, discovered to their surprise that adult stem cells, which they expected to play a crucial role in the process, were nowhere to be found. Many ...

Bioengineers reprogram muscles to combat degeneration

September 22, 2011

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have turned back the clock on mature muscle tissue, coaxing it back to an earlier stem cell stage to form new muscle. Moreover, they showed in mice that the newly reprogrammed ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.