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Author(s): Ravipati Sarath | Vemuri Leena Rani

Journal: International Journal of Biomedical Research
ISSN 0976-9633

Volume: 2;
Issue: 12;
Start page: 608;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Stem cells | signaling | diabetes

The pancreatic beta-cell has a pivotal role in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and its impairment leads to diabetes mellitus. The exponential increase in number of diabetics across the world poses a daunting task to the current therapeutic approach with exogenous insulin. As the insulin therapy led to long term complications, search for alternative therapies had begun. Transplantation of insulin-producing cells is the hallmark of diabetes treatment. But due to the acute shortage of pancreatic-islet donors, researchers met with a limited success. In this light, stem cell research & therapy in terms of diabetes has opened new avenues for diabetes treatment and received lot of attention recently. A stem cell with extensive proliferative capacity may provide a valuable source of islet progenitor cells. Key signaling pathways and transcription factors paved a significant role in pancreas development from progenitor cells. This review has been structured to explore the various ways and means and sources of cells responsible for generating beta cells. Hence the role of stem cells, their adverse effects in terms of therapeutic implications and their current trends in modern medicine have been discussed at length. So, this review projects the different types of sources, mechanisms, signaling pathways with transcription factors and remaining challenges regarding the limitations of cell replacement therapy.

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