New sources of pancreatic beta cells

Shay Porat, Yuval Dor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, insufficient numbers of insulin-producing β cells are a major cause of defective control of blood glucose and its complications. Accordingly, therapies that increase functional β-cell mass may offer a cure for diabetes. Efforts to achieve this goal explore several directions. Based on the realization that β cells are capable of significant proliferation throughout adult life, the enhanced proliferation of β cells in vivo or in vitro is pursued as a strategy for regenerative medicine for diabetes. Alternatively, the conversion of differentiated cells such as hepatocytes into β cells is being attempted using molecular insights into the transcriptional makeup of β cells. Advances were also made in directing the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into β cells. Although progress is encouraging, major gaps in our understanding of developmental biology of the pancreas and adult β-cell dynamics remain to be closed before a: therapeutic application is made possible.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)304-308
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research in our laboratory is supported by grants from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Beta Cell Biology Consortium, Israel Science Foundation, D-Cure, and the European Union BetaCellTherapy Center.


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