The Islets of Langerhans

Volume 654 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 627-640


In Vivo Regeneration of Insulin-Producing β-Cells

  • Hee-Sook JunAffiliated withLee Gil Ya Cancer and Diabetes Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science Email author 

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Type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus are considered to be caused by defective control of blood glucose resulting from a reduced β-cell mass. Thus, the restoration of a functional β-cell mass by replacing the damaged β-cells or stimulating β-cell regeneration is a logical approach for the treatment of diabetes. Strategies for increasing the β-cell mass include stimulating β-cell replication and differentiation and inhibiting β-cell death. Treatment with various growth factors such as GLP-1, BTC, HGF, and EGF and forced expression of β-cell transcription factors such as Pdx-1, NeuroD, and MafA resulted in the regeneration of β-cells in vivo. Another approach is the administration of stem/progenitor cells, which can differentiate into insulin-producing cells. However, there are no satisfactory methods yet for clinical application. Understanding the mechanisms of the regenerative process of pancreatic β-cells will pave the way for the development of regenerative medicine for treatment of diabetes.


β-cell Regeneration Differentiation Growth factor Transcription factor