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Journal of Transplantation
Volume 2011, Article ID 892453, 15 pages
Review Article

β-Cell Generation: Can Rodent Studies Be Translated to Humans?

1Department of Nephrology, Leiden University Medical Center, Postal Zone C3-P, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
2Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
3Hubrecht Institute, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands

Received 31 May 2011; Revised 31 July 2011; Accepted 31 July 2011

Academic Editor: Thierry Berney

Copyright © 2011 Françoise Carlotti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


β-cell replacement by allogeneic islet transplantation is a promising approach for patients with type 1 diabetes, but the shortage of organ donors requires new sources of β cells. Islet regeneration in vivo and generation of β-cells ex vivo followed by transplantation represent attractive therapeutic alternatives to restore the β-cell mass. In this paper, we discuss different postnatal cell types that have been envisaged as potential sources for future β-cell replacement therapy. The ultimate goal being translation to the clinic, a particular attention is given to the discrepancies between findings from studies performed in rodents (both ex vivo on primary cells and in vivo on animal models), when compared with clinical data and studies performed on human cells.