Mechanisms of adult human β-cell in vitro dedifferentiation and redifferentiation

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016 Sep;18 Suppl 1:97-101. doi: 10.1111/dom.12724.


Recent studies in animal models and human pathological specimens suggest the involvement of β-cell dedifferentiation in β-cell dysfunction associated with type 2 diabetes. Dedifferentiated β-cells may be exploited for endogenous renewal of the β-cell mass. However, studying human β-cell dedifferentiation in diabetes presents major difficulties. We have analysed mechanisms involved in human β-cell dedifferentiation in vitro, under conditions that allow cell proliferation. Although there are important differences between the two cellular environments, β-cell dedifferentiation in the two conditions is likely to share a number of common pathways. Insights from the in vitro studies may lead to development of approaches for redifferentiation of endogenous dedifferentiated β-cells.

Keywords: cell-lineage tracing; signalling pathways; type 2 diabetes; β-cell proliferation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Dedifferentiation*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Transdifferentiation*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism