Am J Stem Cell 2012;1(3):196-204

Review Article
Directed differentiation of progenitor cells towards an islet-cell phenotype

Arif Abed, Charlotte Critchlow, Peter R Flatt, Neville H McClenaghan, Catriona Kelly

The Guy Hilton Research Centre, Institute for Science and Technology, Keele University, UK; Keele Medical School, Keele University, UK;
Diabetes Research Group, SAAD Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK

Received August 3, 2012; Accepted November 9, 2012; Epub November 30, 2012; Published December 10, 2012

Abstract: Exogenous insulin administration and oral anti-diabetic drugs are the primary means of treating diabetes. However, tight
glycaemic control, with its inherent risk of hypoglycaemia, is required to prevent the microvascular and macrovascular complications of
the disease. While islet or pancreas transplantations offer a longer-term cure, their widespread application is not possible, primarily
because of a lack of donor tissue, the burden of life-long immunosuppression, and eventual graft rejection. The rapid increase in the
incidence of diabetes has promoted the search for alternative cell-based therapies. Here we review recent advances in the directed
differentiation of both endocrine and non-endocrine progenitors towards an islet-like phenotype. (AJSC1208001).

Keywords: Endocrine, progenitor cells, islet cells, insulin production, diabetes mellitus


Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Catriona Kelly
The Guy Hilton Research Centre
Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine
Keele University, Thornburrow Drive
Hartshill, Stoke on Trent, ST4 7QB, UK.
E-mail: c.kelly@keele.ac.uk
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