Using beta-cell growth factors to enhance human pancreatic Islet transplantation

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Mar;86(3):984-8. doi: 10.1210/jcem.86.3.7315.


This is a particularly exciting time in the field of pancreatic islet growth, development, and survival. The recent publication of a study demonstrating that human pancreatic islet transplantation is both technically and immunologically feasible has highlighted the need for large supplies of pancreatic islets or pancreatic beta cells for larger-scale islet transplantation in patients with diabetes. This, together with a rapid expansion in the past several years of the understanding of mechanisms of islet growth, development, and survival, has accelerated and invigorated efforts to therapeutically harness the cellular mechanisms responsible for pancreatic beta-cell proliferation, survival, and development and to take advantage of this new knowledge to enhance the availability, survival, and function of pancreatic beta cells in human islet transplantation for diabetes mellitus. Here, we briefly review the confluence of events that have provided optimism and energy to the islet transplant field, and we focus on peptide growth factors that eventually may be deployed in the effort to augment islet mass and function in patients with diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Growth Substances / therapeutic use*
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology*
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Placental Lactogen / therapeutic use
  • Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Somatomedins / therapeutic use


  • Growth Substances
  • PTHLH protein, human
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Proteins
  • Somatomedins
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Placental Lactogen