β-Cells from Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells and Progenitors
Pp. 169-189 (21)
Christine A. Beamish
Diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease, causing the destruction of the
insulin-producing β-cells of the pancreatic islet and leading to glycemic dysregulation.
Exogenous insulin administration and glucose testing moderately rectifies
hyperglycemia, but does not provide adequate fine tuning necessary for complete
prevention of hypoglycemia acutely, nor micro- and macro-vascular complications in
the long-term. Islet transplants have shown great promise for this dynamic glucose
regulation, but a shortage of cadaveric-sourced cells, and lifelong immune suppression
requirements vastly restrict this technique from being widely available to patients with
the disease. Therefore alternative sources of insulin-producing cells are needed. In this
chapter, the role of stem cell biology in the current context of diabetes therapy is
discussed, including an assessment of human embryonic and human induced
pluripotent stem cells for the restoration of β-cell mass. Additionally, the existence of
putative resident stem cells, and possible fluidity in lineage fate determination within
endocrine pancreas- related cell types is examined.
β-cell, Diabetes, Pancreas, Plasticity, Progenitor cell, Regeneration,
Department of Surgery, Islet Transplantation Laboratory, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston Texas, USA.