Hidden behind the hype of prospective stem cell-based approaches to treat human disease, reprogramming techniques have finally entered the landscape of regenerative medicine and are quickly becoming one of the most exciting and powerful weapons in the field. In the context of pancreatic regeneration, the reprogramming of non-endocrine adult tissues to cells with phenotypes resembling to those of the hormone-producing cells of the islets of Langerhans is a fertile and dynamic area of research. Here we analyze two of the most studied sources of reprogrammable cells, namely the liver and the acinar compartment of the pancreas. Several groups have now established that the ectopic expression of master pancreatic regulators such as Pdx1, MafA, Ngn3, or BETA2/NeuroD can result in variable degrees of reprogramming toward pancreatic endocrine fates, leading to insulin production in vitro, and reversal of hyperglycemia in vivo. The state of the art and clinical prospects of these novel approaches are discussed in the following chapter.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)