In vitro models of pancreatic differentiation using embryonic stem or induced pluripotent stem cells

Yuichiro Higuchi, Nobuaki Shiraki, Shoen Kume
Congenital Anomalies 2011, 51 (1): 21-5
Embryonic stem (ES) cells or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are expected as a surrogate cell source for regenerative medicine. Many researchers have reported the differentiation method of insulin-expressing pancreatic β cells from ES or iPS cells. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms underlying the differentiation of ES or iPS cells into pancreatic lineages are still unclear. We have established a feeder cell-based differentiation system into pancreatic progenitor cells, and revealed the signaling pathways that are involved in the differentiation of ES cells into mesendoderm, endoderm and pancreatic progenitor cells. Recently, we demonstrated that the extracellular environment, particularly the laminin-integrin signaling and heparan sulfate proteoglycan, is important for the regionalization of definitive endoderm cells into pancreatic lineages. These results provide new insights for the differentiation mechanism of pancreatic cell lineages.

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