The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 1061 - 1064 (2004)

Vol 48, Issue 10

The generation of insulin-producing cells from embryonic stem cells - a discussion of controversial findings

Open Access | Special Contribution | Published: 1 December 2004

Gabriela Kania, Przemyslaw Blyszczuk and Anna M. Wobus*

In Vitro Differentiation Group, IPK Gatersleben, Germany


The derivation of insulin-producing cells from embryonic stem (ES) cells has been controversially described. Whereas several authors showed successful differentiation of mouse ES cells into islet-like clusters, others could not confirm the results. Here, we present a detailed comparison of the various strategies used to generate pancreatic cells with respect to protocols and differentiation factors and give an explanation of the contradictory findings. It is suggested that the selection or enrichment of ES-derived nestin-positive cells should be avoided, since these cells are already committed to a neural fate before pancreatic differentiation is induced.


mouse embryonic stem cell, differentiation, C-peptide, insulin-producing cell, nestin

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