Reversal of insulin-dependent diabetes using islets generated in vitro from pancreatic stem cells

Nat Med. 2000 Mar;6(3):278-82. doi: 10.1038/73128.


Ductal structures of the adult pancreas contain stem cells that differentiate into islets of Langerhans. Here, we grew pancreatic ductal epithelial cells isolated from prediabetic adult non-obese diabetic mice in long-term cultures, where they were induced to produce functioning islets containing alpha, beta and delta cells. These in vitro-generated islets showed temporal changes in mRNA transcripts for islet cell-associated differentiation markers, responded in vitro to glucose challenge, and reversed insulin-dependent diabetes after being implanted into diabetic non-obese diabetic mice. The ability to control growth and differentiation of islet stem cells provides an abundant islet source for beta-cell reconstitution in type I diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Islets of Langerhans / blood supply
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology*
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Pancreatic Ducts / cytology*
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology
  • Prediabetic State / pathology
  • Stem Cells / cytology*