Ravneet Kaur Boparai and D D Bansal*
Department of Biochemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh. -160014
*Corresponding Author : email@example.com.
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions and imposes a major burden on the health care system. Replacement of functional insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, with pancreas or islet-cell transplants is considered the optimal treatment for diabetes mellitus. However, it is severely limited by the shortage of human organ donors. An effective cell-replacement strategy depends on the development of an abundant supply of beta cells and their protection from recurring immune destruction. Stem/progenitor cells, which can be expanded in tissue culture and induced to differentiate into multiple cell types, represent an attractive source for generation of cells with beta-cell properties. In addition to embryonic stem cells, several potential adult islet/beta-cell progenitors derived from pancreas, liver, and bone marrow, are being investigated for their ability to proliferate and differentiate into cells with glucose responsive insulin producing function. Stem cells hold great promise for the treatment of diabetes mellitus and scientists are trying to overcome specific obstacles so that this can become a reality.
Key words: Diabetes mellitus, transplantation, stem cells, progenitor cells.