Artificial islets from hybrid spheroids of three pancreatic cell lines

Y. H. Jo, I. J. Jang, J. G. Nemeno, S. Lee, B. Y. Kim, B. M. Nam, W. Yang, K. M. Lee, H. Kim, T. Takebe, Y. S. Kim, J. I. Lee

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Pancreatic islets have been the focus of recent studies exploring the pathologic mechanisms of diabetes mellitus as well as more effective and radical treatments for this disease. Islet transplantation is a promising therapeutic strategy; however, isolation of pancreatic islets for this purpose has been challenging, because the technique is time consuming and technically difficult, and tissue handling can be variable. Pseudo-islets can be used as an alternative to naïve islets, but require cellular sources or artificial materials. In this study, pancreas-derived cells were used to generate pseudo-islets. Because the pancreas is composed of a variety of cell types, namely α cells, β cells, δ cells, and other pancreatic cells that perform different functions, we used 3 different cell lines - NIT-1 (a β-cell line), α TC1 clone 6 (an α-cell line), and TGP52 (a pancreatic epithelial-like cell line) - which we cocultured in nonadhesive culture plates to produce hybrid cellular spheroids. These pseudo-islets had an oval shape and were morphologically similar to naïve islets; additionally, they expressed and secreted the pancreatic hormones insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin, as confirmed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results demonstrate that pseudo-islets that mimic naïve islets can be successfully generated by a coculture method. These artificial islets can potentially be used for in vitro tests related to diabetes mellitus, specifically, in drug discovery or for investigating pathology. Moreover, they can be useful for examining basic questions pertaining to cell-cell interactions and tissue development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1160
Number of pages5
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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