Cellular sources of new pancreatic beta cells and therapeutic implications for regenerative medicine

Nat Cell Biol. 2004 Nov;6(11):1021-5. doi: 10.1038/ncb1104-1021.


Replacing missing insulin-producing beta cells to treat diabetes is a major challenge for regenerative medicine. A better understanding of beta-cell embryogenesis and regeneration in adult life is needed to devise means to derive these specialized cells in sufficiently large numbers from stem or precursor cells. It is also critical to ensure that any surrogate or regenerated beta cells have perfectly regulated insulin production, which is essential for physiological glucose homeostasis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Humans
  • Insulin / biosynthesis
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology*
  • Regeneration*


  • Insulin