Meaningful human β-cell regeneration is a crucial goal in the fight against diabetes. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Humanβ-cell regeneration: progress, hurdles, and controversy.
Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2014 Apr ;21(2):102-8. PMID: 24569551
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Therapies that increase functionalβ-cell mass may be the best long-term treatment for diabetes. Significant resources are devoted toward this goal, and progress is occurring at a rapid pace. Here, we summarize recent advances relevant to human β-cell regeneration.
RECENT FINDINGS: Newβ-cells arise from proliferation of pre-existing β-cells or transdifferentiation from other cell types. In addition, dedifferentiated β-cells may populate islets in diabetes, possibly representing a pool of cells that could redifferentiate into functional β-cells. Advances in finding strategiesto drive β-cell proliferation include new insight into proproliferative factors, both circulating and local, and elements intrinsic to the β-cell, such as cell cycle machinery and regulation of gene expression through epigenetic modification and noncoding RNAs. Controversy continues in the arena of generation of β-cells by transdifferentiation from exocrine, ductal, and alpha cells, with studies producing both supporting and opposing data. Progress has been made in redifferentiation of β-cells that have lost expression of β-cell markers.
SUMMARY: Although significant progress has been made, and promising avenues exist, more work is needed to achieve the goal ofβ-cell regeneration as a treatment for diabetes.