Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in pancreatic islet beta cells.


In vitro generation of insulin-producing cells from stem/progenitor cells presents a promising approach to overcome the scarcity of donor pancreas for cell replacement therapy in diabetes. In this regard, pancreatic islet-derived progenitors are proposed to be a better alternative as they are obtained from cells that can efficiently produce insulin under physiological conditions and are supposed to retain the epigenetic memory for producing 'insulin' even after transition to a mesenchymal-like cell type. However, in last few years there has been significant debate in understanding the origin of such islet-derived mesenchymal-like progenitor cells in vitro. The initial idea proposed that human insulin-producing β-cells contribute to generation of a population of islet-derived endocrine progenitor cells by a process of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in vitro. This idea was challenged by a series of lineage-tracing studies in mice demonstrating the non-beta origin of mesenchymal cells in culture. However, recent observations made by two independent groups confirm that human islet insulin-producing cells can proliferate and contribute to mesenchymal-like cell populations in vitro. Here, we provide a fact sheet about the observations that are till now reported by several groups regarding origin of mesenchymal-like cells in the cultures of pancreatic islets.

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@article{Joglekar2010EpithelialtomesenchymalTI, title={Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in pancreatic islet beta cells.}, author={Mugdha V. Joglekar and Anandwardhan A. Hardikar}, journal={Cell cycle}, year={2010}, volume={9 20}, pages={4077-9} }