Background: For cell therapies to treat diabetes, it is important to produce a sufficient number of pancreatic endocrine cells that function similarly to primary islets. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells represent a potentially unlimited source of functional pancreatic endocrine cells. However, the use of iPS cells for laboratory studies and cell-based therapies is hampered by their high tumorigenic potential and limited ability to generate pure populations of differentiated cell types in vitro. The purpose of this study was to establish a pancreatic stem cell line from iPS cells derived from mouse fibroblasts. Methods: Mouse iPS cells were induced to differentiate into insulin-producing cells by a multi-step differentiation protocol, which was conducted as described previously with minor modifications. Selection of the pancreatic stem cell was based on morphology and Pdx1 expression. The pancreatic potential of the pancreatic stem cells was evaluated using a reverse transcription PCR, real-time PCR, immunofluorescence, and a glucose challenge test. To assess potential tumorigenicity of the pancreatic stem cells, the cells were injected into the quadriceps femoris muscle of the left hindlimb of nude mice. Results: The iPS-derived pancreatic stem cells expressed the transcription factor -Pdx1- a marker of pancreatic development, and continued to divide actively beyond passage 80. Endocrine cells derived from these pancreatic stem cells expressed insulin and pancreatic genes, and they released insulin in response to glucose stimulation. Mice injected with the pancreatic stem cells did not develop tumors, in contrast to mice injected with an equal number of iPS cells. Conclusion: This strategy provides a new approach for generation of insulin-producing cells that is more efficient and safer than using iPS cells. We believe that this approach will help to develop a patient-specific cell transplantation therapy for diabetes in the near future.
- Mouse pancreatic stem cells
- iPS cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging