In vitro reprogramming of rat bmMSCs into pancreatic endocrine-like cells

Hong Tu Li, Fang Xu Jiang, Ping Shi, Tao Zhang, Xiao Yu Liu, Xue Wen Lin, Zhong Yan San, Xi Ning Pang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Islet transplantation provides curative treatments to patients with type 1 diabetes, but donor shortage restricts the broad use of this therapy. Thus, generation of alternative transplantable cell sources is intensively investigated worldwide. We previously showed that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs) can be reprogrammed to pancreatic-like cells through simultaneously forced suppression of Rest/Nrsf (repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor/neuronal restrictive silencing factor) and Shh (sonic hedgehog) and activation of Pdx1 (pancreas and duodenal transcription factor 1). We here aimed to reprogram bmMSCs further along the developmental pathway towards the islet lineages by improving our previous strategy and by overexpression of Ngn3 (neurogenin 3) and NeuroD1 (neurogenic differentiation 1), critical regulators of the development of endocrine pancreas. We showed that compared to the previous protocol, the overexpression of only Pdx1 and Ngn3 reprogrammed bmMSCs into cells with more characteristics of islet endocrine lineages verified with bioinformatic analyses of our RNA-Seq datasets. These analyses indicated 2325 differentially expressed genes including those involved in the pancreas and islet development. We validated with qRT-PCR analysis selective genes identified from the RNA-Seq datasets. Thus, we reprogrammed bmMSCs into islet endocrine-like cells and advanced the endeavor to generate surrogate functional insulin-secreting cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


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