Cell-based methods to identify inducers of human pancreatic beta-cell proliferation

Courtney A. Ackeifi, Ethan A. Swartz, Peng Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Diabetes is the result of the insufficiency or dysfunction of pancreatic beta cells alone or in combination with insulin resistance. The replacement or regeneration of beta cells can effectively reverse diabetes in humans and rodents. Therefore, the identification of novel small molecules that promote pancreatic beta-cell proliferation is an attractive approach for diabetic therapy. While numerous hormones, small molecules, and growth factors are able to drive rodent beta cells to replicate, only a few small molecules have demonstrated the ability to stimulate human beta-cell proliferation. Hence, there is an urgent need for therapeutic agents that induce regeneration and expansion of adult human beta cells. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for coating chamber slides, culturing primary islets, performing islet cell disassociation, seeding cells on chamber slides, treating islet cells with compounds or infecting them with adenovirus, immunostaining of proliferation markers and imaging, and data analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Diabetes
  • Diabetes therapeutics
  • Drug development
  • Human islets
  • Human pancreatic beta cell
  • Proliferation


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