Gastric tissue makes insulin

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Science  11 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6278, pp. 1163-1164
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6278.1163-d

Diabetics lack insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. One therapeutic strategy involves generating these cells from other sources and then transplanting them into patients. To withstand the pathological diabetic environment, a renewable source of beta cells is crucial. Ariyachet et al. demonstrate that stomach cells fit the bill. Like the pancreas, the stomach arises from the endoderm and harbors many stem and progenitor cells. Introducing the trio of proteins into mouse endocrine cells from the lower stomach reprograms them into insulin-producing beta cells. Transplanting reprogrammed stomach mini-organs into diabetic mice allowed them to control their hyperglycemia, suggesting a viable gastric source for the production of insulin.

Cell Stem Cell 10.1016/j.stem.2016.01.003 (2016).

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