Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 695–703

Making β Cells from Adult Cells Within the Pancreas


  • Philippe A. Lysy
    • Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Pôle de Pédiatrie
  • Gordon C. Weir
    • Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Stem Cell InstituteHarvard Medical School
    • Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Stem Cell InstituteHarvard Medical School
Transplantation (A Pileggi, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11892-013-0400-1

Cite this article as:
Lysy, P.A., Weir, G.C. & Bonner-Weir, S. Curr Diab Rep (2013) 13: 695. doi:10.1007/s11892-013-0400-1


Cell therapy is currently considered as a potential therapeutic alternative to traditional treatments of diabetes. Islet and whole pancreas transplantations provided the proof-of-concept of glucose homeostasis restoration after replenishment of the deficiency of β cells responsible for the disease. Current limitations of these procedures have led to the search for strategies targeting replication of pre-existing β cells or transdifferentiation of progenitors and adult cells. These investigations revealed an unexpected plasticity towards β cells of adult cells residing in pancreatic epithelium (eg, acinar, duct, and α cells). Here we discuss recent developments in β-cell replication and β-cell transdifferentiation of adult epithelial pancreatic cells, with an emphasis on techniques with a potential for clinical translation.


DiabetesPancreasReplicationProgenitorsTransdifferentiationβ cellsAdult cells

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013