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Extracellular factors regulate pancreatic fate of human embryonic stem cells

maandag, 27 juni, 2011 - 17:00
Campus: Brussels Health Campus
Faculteit: Medicine and Pharmacy
auditorium P. Brouwer
Bing Chen

Islet transplantation has been suggested to be a
promising treatment for type 1 diabetes.
However, it is limited by the severe donor
shortage. Therefore, success in the β cell
differentiation of human ESC will enhance the
potential for patient –specific cell transplantation
therapy in diabetes.

The thesis by Bing Chen studies how
developmentally related extracellular factors
influence human ESC differentiation towards
pancreatic fate. We intended to reproduce a
protocol reported to generate β-like cells on
several human ES cell lines. Whereas we failed to
induce pancreatic progenitors, hepatocytes
developed efficiently under the control of BMP
and FGF pathways. BMP antagonism combined
with early retinoic acid treatment significantly
induced PDX1+ progenitors. These findings
underscore the role of extracellular factors and
the necessity to mimic developmental signals for
optimal pancreatic differentiation from ES cells.
Further differentiation of the PDX1+ progenitors
towards functioning β cells will set new
landmarks in diabetes therapy.

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