Isolated islets in diabetes research

Ramesh Ramchandra Bhonde*, R. C. Shukla, M. Kanitkar, R. C. Shukla, M. Banerjee, S. Datar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This review highlights some recent developments and diversified applications of islets in diabetes research as they are rapidly emerging as a model system in biomedical and biotechnological research. Isolated islets have formed an effective in vitro model in antidiabetic drug development programme, screening of potential hypoglycaemic agents and for investigating their mechanisms of action. Yet another application of isolated islets could be to understand the mechanisms of β cell death in vitro and to identify the sites of intervention for possible cytoprotection. Advances in immunoisolation and immunomodulation protocols have made xeno-transplantation feasible without immunosuppression thus increasing the availability of islets. Research in the areas of pancreatic and non pancreatic stem cells has given new hope to diabetic subjects to renew their islet cell mass for the possible cure of diabetes. Investigations of the factors leading to differentiation of pancreatic stem/progenitor cells would be of interest as they are likely to induce pancreatic regeneration in diabetics. Similarly search for the beta cell protective agents has a great future in preservation of residual beta cell mass left after diabetogenic insults. We have detailed various applications of islets in diabetes research in context of their current status, progress and future challenges and long term prospects for a cure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-440
Number of pages16
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


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