Embryonic stem cell therapy for diabetes mellitus

Kevin Docherty, Andreia S. Bernardo, Ludovic Vallier

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


There is a compelling need to develop novel therapies for diabetes mellitus. Recent successes in the transplantation of islets of Langerhans are seen as a major breakthrough. However, there is huge disparity between potential recipients and the availability of donor tissue. Human embryonic stem cells induced to form pancreatic beta cells could provide a replenishable supply of tissue. Early studies on the spontaneous differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells have laid the foundation for a more directed approach based on recapitulating the events that occur during the development of the pancreas in the mouse. A high yield of definitive endoderm has been achieved, and although beta-like cells can be generated in a step-wise manner, the efficiency is still low and the final product is not fully differentiated. Future challenges include generating fully functional islet cells under Xeno-free and chemically defined conditions and circumventing the need for immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-838
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Cell & Developmental Biology
Issue number6
Early online date11 Sept 2007
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • differentiation
  • Pdx1
  • insulin gene
  • regenerative medicine
  • cell therapy
  • pancreas development
  • insulin-producing cells
  • pancreatic beta-cells
  • in-vitro
  • islet transplantation
  • definitive endoderm
  • expressing cells
  • nuclear transfer
  • gene-expression
  • ex-vivo
  • directed differentiation


Dive into the research topics of 'Embryonic stem cell therapy for diabetes mellitus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this