Differentiation of fetal pancreatic stem cells into neuron-like and islet-like cellsin vitro*★

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Pancreatic stem cells were isolated and cultured from aborted human fetal pancreases of gestational age 14-20 weeks. They were seeded at a density of 1 × 104 in serum-free media for differentiation into neuron-like cells, expressing β-tubulin III and glial fibrillary acidic protein. These neuron-like cells displayed a synapse-like morphology and appeared to form a neuronal network. Pancreatic stem cells were also seeded at a density of 1 × 105 for differentiation into islet-like cells, expressing insulin and glucagon, with an islet-like morphology. These cells had glucose-stimulated secretion of human insulin and C-peptide. Results suggest that pancreatic stem cells can be differentiated into neuron-like and islet-like cells.

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