Pancreatic-Stem-Cells-Top Journals

Type I diabetes is caused by the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic β-cells, and has emerged as a case study for stem cell-based “regenerative medicine.” Its point is that the idea that the situation of β-cells within the pancreas is irrelevant to their ability to manage blood glucose through insulin release. Moved elsewhere, goodbye as they need access to the circulation, β-cells should function to take care of glucose homeostasis – a hypothesis amply supported by animal studies and now the idea for clinical islet transplantation in humans. Islet transplantation confronts formidable hurdles as a treatment for type I diabetes, like blocking autoimmunity and preserving graft function. When these difficulties are overcome, however, the approach will still be hampered by the scarcity of cadaver-derived islets. Three potential solutions are proposed: first, to reinforce replication of islet cells in vitro, “stretching” the limited supply; second, to isolate adult stem cells from the pancreas that can expand and produce new β-cells; third, to control embryonic stem (ES) cells in order that they adopt a β-cell identity. The first of those approaches, recently discussed elsewhere, is beyond the scope of this review, although we'll discuss the contribution of β-cell proliferation to islet regeneration following injury.    

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