Pancreatic Stem Cells

Yuval Dor*, Douglas A. Melton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This chapter reviews evidence for the existence and identity of pancreatic progenitor and stem cells, and describes the criteria for experimental demonstration of such cells. The most rigorous definition of a stem cell states that it is a cell that, upon proliferation, produces some progeny that have the same developmental potential, as well as other progeny that have a more restricted developmental potential. In Type I diabetes, the insulin-producing β-cells that reside in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans are destroyed by autoimmune attack, and it is thought that self-renewing stem cells could provide an unlimited source of β-cells for transplantation. Such therapeutic efforts require the prospective isolation of stem cells with the potential to produce β-cells and the development of methods to direct their expansion and differentiation. From a developmental biology perspective, the role of stem cells in the pancreas is a fascinating problem. Much of the field is focused on the identification of β-cell progenitors and the characterization of their molecular requirements, but it is not known what role such cells play during pancreas maintenance and regeneration, or whether the adult pancreas contains a population of true stem cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAdult and Fetal
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780080533735
ISBN (Print)9780124366435
StatePublished - 14 Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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