Beta Cell Neogenesis
Diabetes mellitus is a pandemic metabolic disorder characterized by chronic hyperglycemia. The pathogenic process is the result of insulin insufficiency. Insulin is a peptide hormone produced in the beta cells of the pancreatic islets. Current diabetes treatments strive for glycemic control but fail to solve the underlying beta cell defect. This approach has increased the life expectancy and quality of most patients with diabetes but has turned diabetes into a chronic disease.
Curative strategies should aim at restoring and protecting the functional beta cell mass which in turn would selfregulate a fine-tuned glucose homeostasis. Such alternative beta cell replacement therapies could either rely on exogenous delivery of beta cells through transplantation, or on endogenous repair of the endocrine pancreas through beta cell regeneration.
The main aim of the BENE lab is to (re)generate functional beta cells.