Generation of Functional Human Pancreatic β Cells In Vitro


Felicia W. Pagliuca, Jeffrey R. Millman, Mads Gürtler, Michael Segel, Alana Van Dervort, Jennifer Hyoje Ryu, Quinn P. Peterson, Dale Greiner, Douglas A. Melton

The generation of insulin-producing pancreatic β cells from stem cells in vitro would provide an unprecedented cell source for drug discovery and cell transplantation therapy in diabetes. However, insulin-producing cells previously generated from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) lack many functional characteristics of bona fide β cells. Here, we report a scalable differentiation protocol that can generate hundreds of millions of glucose-responsive β cells from hPSC in vitro. These stem-cell-derived β cells (SC-β) express markers found in mature β cells, flux Ca2+ in response to glucose, package insulin into secretory granules, and secrete quantities of insulin comparable to adult β cells in response to multiple sequential glucose challenges in vitro. Furthermore, these cells secrete human insulin into the serum of mice shortly after transplantation in a glucose-regulated manner, and transplantation of these cells ameliorates hyperglycemia in diabetic mice.

From: Cell