Despite a recent breakthrough in human islet transplantation for treating diabetes mellitus, the limited availability of insulin-producing tissue is still a major obstacle. Here, we studied whether adult pancreatic acinar cells have the potential to transdifferentiate into islet or beta cells. Pancreatic acini were isolated from 7- to 8-weeks-old male Sprague-Dawley rats and cultured in suspension. Within 1 week, most of the acinar cells lost amylase expression and converted to cells with a duct cell phenotype. Insulin-positive cells were also observed, mainly at the periphery of the acini-derived spheroids. Insulin gene and protein expression was increased. Presence of a few insulin-positive cells coexpressing cytokeratins suggests that a spontaneous acinar to ductal cell transdifferentiation process was further going on towards beta cells. This study provides the first evidence that adult pancreatic acinar cells could be differentiated into insulin-expressing cells in vitro.