Pancreatic β cells develop from endodermal pancreatic progenitors that first proliferate and next differentiate into functional insulin-producing cells. This developmental process is complex, each step being controlled by yet unknown signals. Theoretically, the development of a functional β cell mass can be enhanced by: i) activating the proliferation of pancreatic progenitors; ii) activating their differentiation into β cells; iii) activating the proliferation of β cells themselves.
During the past years, we first developed bioassays based on rodent models to search for signals that control specific steps of β cell development. With such bioassays, we screened and characterized a number of signals that regulate pancreatic progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation. We also developed models of human pancreatic development, to transfer to human, data generated in rodent models. Such models were instrumental for the development of functional human β cell of lines first and second generations. Such an approach, that aims at better dissecting signals regulating functional β cell mass in rodent and human will be presented.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology