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New insights into human beta cell biology using human pluripotent stem cells

New insights into human beta cell biology using human pluripotent stem cells

Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 103: 31-40

ISSN/ISBN: 1084-9521

PMID: 31757584

DOI: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2019.11.004

Pancreatic β-cells are responsible for maintaining glucose homeostasis. Therefore, their dysregulation leads to diabetes. Pancreas or islet transplants can be used to treat diabetes but these human tissues remain in short supply. Significant progress has now been made in differentiating human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) such as human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into pancreatic β-like cells for potential cell replacement therapy. Additionally, these hPSC-derived β-like cells represent a new invaluable model for studying diabetes disease mechanisms. Here, we review the use of hPSC-derived β-like cells as a platform to model various types of defects in human β-cells in diabetes, comparing them against existing animal models, ex vivo human islets and human β-cell line. We also discuss how hPSC-derived β-like cells are being used as a platform for screening novel therapeutic compounds. Last but not least, we evaluate the strengths and limitations of this human cell-based platform as an avenue to study and reveal new insights into human β-cell biology.

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Accession: 069544801

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