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Generation of Islet-Like Hormone-Producing Cells In Vitro From Adult Human Pancreas

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Transplantation of pancreatic islets can provide long-lasting insulin independence for diabetic patients, but the current islet supply is limited. Here we describe a new in vitro system that utilizes adult human pancreatic islet-enriched fractions to generate hormone-producing cells over 3–4 weeks of culture. By labeling proliferating cells with a retrovirus-expressing green fluorescent protein, we show that in this system hormone-producing cells are generated de novo. These hormone-producing cells aggregate to form islet-like cell clusters. The cell clusters, when tested in vitro, release insulin in response to glucose and other secretagogues. After transplantation into immunodeficient, nondiabetic mice, the islet-like cell clusters survive and release human insulin. We propose that this system will be useful as an experimental tool for investigating mechanisms for generating new islet cells from the postnatal pancreas, and for designing strategies to generate physiologically competent pancreatic islet cells ex vivo.
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Keywords: Diabetes; In vitro culture; Pancreatic islet transplantation; Pancreatic stem cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Islet and Autoimmunity Branch, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA 2: Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA 3: Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA 4: Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN, USA

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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