Insulin Release in Embryonic Stem Cells

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By: Elka Karl

Contrary to recent reports claiming thatembryonic stem cells can generate insulin-producingcells, a Scandinavian study has found that this is not the case.

Although differentiated insulin-containingcells contain immunoreactive insulin, theydo not contain proinsulin-derived C-peptide.There is variable insulin release from these cellsupon glucose addition, but C-peptide releaseis never detected. Also, many of the insulin-immunoreactivecells are disintegrating or dying.

The study indicates that C-peptide biosynthesisand secretion should be demonstrated to claiminsulin production from embryonic stem cellprogeny.

Diabetes, October 2004

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