Numerous advances have been made in pancreatic β-cell replacement therapies for diabetes mellitus. While these therapies provide a positive impact and possible cure for the individual recipient, access is limited by availability of donor tissues. The derivation of pluripotent stem cells using efficient differentiation technologies has resulted in the generation of insulin-producing cells with characteristics similar to islet β-cells. Experimental transplantation studies have shown that these cells are capable of reducing hyperglycemia in short-term assays. Novel methodologies that facilitate the neogenesis of β-cells from endogenous hepatic or pancreatic tissue sources are also being investigated as a β-cell replacement strategy. Further research is necessary to protect these transplanted or regenerated cells from diabetic autoimmune pathology.
- pancreatic differentiation
- pluripotent stem cell