Glucose responsive insulin production from human embryonic germ (EG) cell derivatives

Gregory O. Clark, Robert L. Yochem, Joyce Axelman, Timothy P. Sheets, David J. Kaczorowski, Michael J. Shamblott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Type 1 diabetes mellitus subjects millions to a daily burden of disease management, life threatening hypoglycemia and long-term complications such as retinopathy, nephropathy, heart disease, and stroke. Cell transplantation therapies providing a glucose-regulated supply of insulin have been implemented clinically, but are limited by safety, efficacy and supply considerations. Stem cells promise a plentiful and flexible source of cells for transplantation therapies. Here, we show that cells derived from human embryonic germ (EG) cells express markers of definitive endoderm, pancreatic and β-cell development, glucose sensing, and production of mature insulin. These cells integrate functions necessary for glucose responsive regulation of preproinsulin mRNA and expression of insulin C-peptide in vitro. Following transplantation into mice, cells become insulin and C-peptide immunoreactive and produce plasma C-peptide in response to glucose. These findings suggest that EG cell derivatives may eventually serve as a source of insulin producing cells for the treatment of diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-593
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 11 2007


  • Development
  • Diabetes
  • Endoderm
  • Pancreas
  • Stem
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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