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New study reveals signaling pathways required for expansion of pancreas stem cells

a starting point toward improving the efficacy of treatments for patients and perhaps the prevention of clinical disease."

"It is not known to what extent replacement of insulin-producing cells occurs in the phase of diabetes when these cells are being actively eliminated," says Alberto Hayek, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego and scientific director of the Whittier Institute for Diabetes. "The replacement may occur at the expense of self-replication of still-intact beta cells, or at the expense of replication and further differentiation of precursor cells into new endocrine cells. If these cells arise in the pancreatic ducts, as Dr. Sarvetnick's work has previously shown in animal models developed in her lab, the identification of the proteins (BMPs) described in this research is an important step for the potential application of therapies aimed at increasing a pool of cells that will become insulin-producing."


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Contact: Keith McKeown
kmckeown@scripps.edu
858-784-8134
Scripps Research Institute
16-May-2006


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