Article

Diabetologia

, Volume 46, Issue 10, pp 1366-1374

First online:

Little evidence of transdifferentiation of bone marrow-derived cells into pancreatic beta cells

  • J. B. ChoiAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University School of Medicine
  • , H. UchinoAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University School of Medicine
  • , K. AzumaAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University School of Medicine
  • , N. IwashitaAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University School of Medicine
  • , Y. TanakaAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University School of Medicine
  • , H. MochizukiAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Juntendo University School of Medicine
  • , M. MigitaAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Division of Gene Therapy, Research Center for Advanced Medical Technology, Nippon Medical School
  • , T. ShimadaAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Division of Gene Therapy, Research Center for Advanced Medical Technology, Nippon Medical School
  • , R. KawamoriAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University School of Medicine
    • , H. WatadaAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University School of Medicine Email author 

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

Bone marrow cells contain at least two distinct types of stem cells which are haematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells. Both cells have the ability to differentiate into a variety of cell types derived from all three germ layers. Thus, bone marrow stem cells could possibly be used to generate new pancreatic beta cells for the treatment of diabetes. In this study, we investigated the feasibility of bone marrow-derived cells to differentiate into beta cells in pancreas.

Methods

Using green fluorescent protein transgenic mice as donors, the distribution of haematogenous cells in the pancreas was studied after bone marrow transplantation.

Results

In the pancreas of green fluorescent protein chimeric mice, green fluorescent protein-positive cells were found in the islets, but none of these cells expressed insulin. Previous data has suggested that tissue injury can recruit haematopoietic stem cells or their progeny to a non-haematopietic cell fate. Therefore, low-dose streptozotocin (30 or 50 mg/kg on five consecutive days) was injected into the mice 5 weeks after bone marrow transplantation, but no green fluorescent protein-positive cells expressing insulin were seen in the islets or around the ducts of the pancreas.

Conclusions/interpretation

Our data suggests that bone marrow-derived cells are a distinct cell population from islet cells and that transdifferentiation from bone marrow-derived cells to pancreatic beta cells is rarely observed.

Keywords

Regeneration regeneration therapy insulin islet stem cell haematopoietic stem cell mescenchymal stem cell bone marrow