Diabetes mellitus: An opportunity for therapy with stem cells?

Valeria Sordi, Federico Bertuzzi, Lorenzo Piemonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In both Type 1 and 2 diabetes, insufficient numbers of insulin-producing β-cells are a major cause of defective control of blood glucose and its complications. Restoration of damaged β-cells by endocrine pancreas regeneration would be an ideal therapeutic option. The possibility of generating insulin-secreting cells with adult pancreatic stem or progenitor cells has been investigated extensively. The conversion of differentiated cells such as hepatocytes into β-cells is being attempted using molecular insights into the transcriptional make-up of β-cells. Additionally, the enhanced proliferation of β-cells in vivo or in vitro is being pursued as a strategy for regenerative medicine for diabetes. Advances have also been made in directing the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into β-cells. Although progress is encouraging, major gaps in our understanding of developmental biology of the pancreas and adult β-cell dynamics remain to be bridged before a therapeutic application is made possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-397
Number of pages21
JournalRegenerative Medicine
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • β-cell proliferation
  • Cell therapy
  • Diabetes
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Embryology

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