Human pancreatic progenitors

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Here we review the characteristics of human pancreatic progenitors, from those that give rise to the different lineages of the pancreas during embryonic development to the cells that have been associated with regenerative processes in adulthood. In the first part of this chapter, we dissect the critical steps that dictate the specification of exocrine and endocrine cell types during pancreatic development, with a special focus on the maturation of pancreatic islet endocrine cells. The second part zeroes in on the highly debated existence and potency of putative progenitor cells in the adult pancreas. The importance of this topic is highlighted by the potential clinical applications of pancreatic progenitor cells for metabolic conditions affecting the endocrine compartment of the pancreas. With 400 million people affected by diabetes mellitus worldwide, the search for a sustainable source of functional insulin-producing cells represents a major driving force in this area of investigation. Challenging questions that continue to agitate the field are discussed for the reader in the last section of this chapter: can the adult pancreas and pancreatic islet cells regenerate? Do transdifferentiation and plasticity play a role? Can we generate true beta cells from stem and progenitor cells?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransplantation, Bioengineering, and Regeneration of the Endocrine Pancreas
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 2
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780128148310
ISBN (Print)9780128148327
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Endocrine tissue
  • Endoderm
  • Islets
  • PDX1
  • Pancreatic development
  • Pancreatic ducts
  • Progenitor cells
  • Regeneration
  • Transdifferentiation
  • β-Cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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