Aim: Glucotoxicity obstructs pancreatic differentiation from adult stem cells. The aim was to develop a novel protocol for differentiation of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) into pancreatic β cells and determine the effect of H2S on glucotoxicity.
Materials & methods: DPSCs were differentiated with media containing 5.5 or 25.0 mM glucose, exposed to 1 ng/ml H2S. Glucotoxicity, expression of β-cell markers, INS, PDX1 and GLUT2, and PI3K/AKT pathway were assessed.
Results: H2S exposure increased insulin and C-peptide, and protected DPSC-derived pancreatic β-like cells from glucotoxicity and upregulated INS, PDX1 and GLUT2, and genes of PI3K/AKT pathway.
Conclusion: H2S improved effects of glucotoxicity on β-like cells via PI3K/AKT pathway. The protocol for pancreatic β-cell differentiation might have applications in regenerative medicine rather than swine pancreas transplantation.
Keywords: glucotoxicity; hydrogen sulfide; pancreatic β-like cells.