Human pluripotent stem-cell-derived islets ameliorate diabetes in non-human primates

Nat Med. 2022 Feb;28(2):272-282. doi: 10.1038/s41591-021-01645-7. Epub 2022 Feb 3.


Human pluripotent stem-cell-derived islets (hPSC-islets) are a promising cell resource for diabetes treatment1,2. However, this therapeutic strategy has not been systematically assessed in large animal models physiologically similar to humans, such as non-human primates3. In this study, we generated islets from human chemically induced pluripotent stem cells (hCiPSC-islets) and show that a one-dose intraportal infusion of hCiPSC-islets into diabetic non-human primates effectively restored endogenous insulin secretion and improved glycemic control. Fasting and average pre-prandial blood glucose levels significantly decreased in all recipients, accompanied by meal or glucose-responsive C-peptide release and overall increase in body weight. Notably, in the four long-term follow-up macaques, average hemoglobin A1c dropped by over 2% compared with peak values, whereas the average exogenous insulin requirement reduced by 49% 15 weeks after transplantation. Collectively, our findings show the feasibility of hPSC-islets for diabetic treatment in a preclinical context, marking a substantial step forward in clinical translation of hPSC-islets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation* / physiology
  • Islets of Langerhans*
  • Primates


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin