Current Diabetes Reports

, 18:133 | Cite as

Who Will Win: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Versus Embryonic Stem Cells for β Cell Replacement and Diabetes Disease Modeling?

  • Elena F. Jacobson
  • Emmanuel S. TzanakakisEmail author
Immunology, Transplantation, and Regenerative Medicine (L Piemonti and V Sordi, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Immunology, Transplantation, and Regenerative Medicine


Purpose of Review

Ever since the reprogramming of human fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), scientists have been trying to determine if hiPSCs can give rise to progeny akin to native terminally differentiated cells as human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) do. Many different somatic cell types have been successfully reprogrammed via a variety of methods. In this review, we will discuss recent studies comparing hiPSCs and hESCs and their ability to differentiate to desired cell types as well as explore diabetes disease models.

Recent Findings

Both somatic cell origin and the reprogramming method are important to the epigenetic state of the hiPSCs; however, genetic background contributes the most to differences seen between hiPSCs and hESCs.


Based on our review of the relevant literature, hiPSCs display differences compared to hESCs, including a higher propensity for specification toward particular cell types based on memory retained from the somatic cell of origin. Moreover, hiPSCs provide a unique opportunity for creating diabetes disease models.


Human pluripotent stem cells Diabetes Reprogramming Differentiation Disease models 


Funding Information

Funding support has been provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF), award CBET-1743367.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Elena F. Jacobson and Emmanuel S. Tzanakakis declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biological EngineeringTufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  2. 2.Clinical and Translational Science InstituteTufts Medical CenterBostonUSA

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