Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 695–703 | Cite as

Making β Cells from Adult Cells Within the Pancreas

  • Philippe A. Lysy
  • Gordon C. Weir
  • Susan Bonner-Weir
Transplantation (A Pileggi, Section Editor)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Diabetes Pancreas Replication Progenitors Transdifferentiation β cells Adult cells 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe A. Lysy
    • 1
  • Gordon C. Weir
    • 2
  • Susan Bonner-Weir
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Pôle de PédiatrieBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Stem Cell InstituteHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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