A new paradigm in cell therapy for diabetes: Turning pancreatic alpha-cells into beta-cells

C B Sangan, David Tosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cell therapy means treating diseases with the body's own cells. One of the cell types most in demand for therapeutic purposes is the pancreatic a-cell. This is because diabetes is one of the major healthcare problems in the world. Diabetes can be treated by islet transplantation but the major limitation is the shortage of organ donors. To overcome the shortfall in donors, alternative sources of pancreatic a-cells must be found. Potential sources include embryonic or adult stem cells or, from existing a-cells. There is now a startling new addition to this list of therapies: the pancreatic a-cell. Thorel and colleagues recently showed that under circumstances of extreme pancreatic a-cell loss, a-cells may serve to replenish the insulin-producing compartment. This conversion of a-cells to a-cells represents an example of transdifferentiation. Understanding the molecular basis for transdifferentiation may help to enhance the generation of beta-cells for the treatment of diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-884
Number of pages4
JournalBioessays
Volume32
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

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Glucagon-Secreting Cells
Medical problems
Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy
Stem cells
Insulin
Tissue Donors
Islets of Langerhans Transplantation
Adult Stem Cells
Embryonic Stem Cells

Cite this

A new paradigm in cell therapy for diabetes: Turning pancreatic alpha-cells into beta-cells. / Sangan, C B; Tosh, David.

In: Bioessays, Vol. 32, No. 10, 10.2010, p. 881-884.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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