Present and future cell therapies for pancreatic beta cell replenishment

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15 Scopus citations


If only at a small scale, islet transplantation has successfully addressed what ought to be the primary endpoint of any cell therapy: the functional replenishment of damaged tissue in patients. After years of less-thanoptimal approaches to immunosuppression, recent advances consistently yield long-term graft survival rates comparable to those of whole pancreas transplantation. Limited organ availability is the main hurdle that stands in the way of the widespread clinical utilization of this pioneering intervention. Progress in stem cell research over the past decade, coupled with our decades-long experience with islet transplantation, is shaping the future of cell therapies for the treatment of diabetes. Here we review the most promising avenues of research aimed at generating an inexhaustible supply of insulin-producing cells for islet regeneration, including the differentiation of pluripotent and multipotent stem cells of embryonic and adult origin along the beta cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6876-6884
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number47
StatePublished - 2012


  • Beta cell differentiation
  • Human embryonic stem cells
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Islet transplantation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Reprogramming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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