Pancreatic islet cell therapy for type I diabetes: Understanding the effects of glucose stimulation on islets in order to produce better islets for transplantation

Jiaqiang Ren, Ping Jin, Ena Wang, Eric Liu, David M. Harlan, Xin Li, David F. Stroncek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

18 Citations (Scopus)


While insulin replacement remains the cornerstone treatment for type I diabetes mellitus (T1DM), the transplantation of pancreatic islets of Langerhans has the potential to become an important alternative. And yet, islet transplant therapy is limited by several factors, including far too few donor pancreases. Attempts to expand mature islets or to produce islets from stem cells are far from clinical application. The production and expansion of the insulin-producing cells within the islet (so called β cells), or even creating cells that secrete insulin under appropriate physiological control, has proven difficult. The difficulty is explained, in part, because insulin synthesis and release is complex, unique, and not entirely characterized. Understanding β-cell function at the molecular level will likely facilitate the development of techniques to manufacture β-cells from stem cells. We will review islet transplantation, as well as the mechanisms underlying insulin transcription, translation and glucose stimulated insulin release.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this