Characterisation of insulin-producing cells differentiated from tonsil derived mesenchymal stem cells

So Yeon Kim, Ye Ryung Kim, Woo Jae Park, Han Su Kim, Sung Chul Jung, So Youn Woo, Inho Jo, Kyung Ha Ryu, Joo Won Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Tonsil-derived (T-) mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) display mutilineage differentiation potential and self-renewal capacity and have potential as a banking source. Diabetes mellitus is a prevalent disease in modern society, and the transplantation of pancreatic progenitor cells or various stem cell-derived insulin-secreting cells has been suggested as a novel therapy for diabetes. The potential of T-MSCs to trans-differentiate into pancreatic progenitor cells or insulin-secreting cells has not yet been investigated. We examined the potential of human T-MSCs to trans-differentiate into pancreatic islet cells using two different methods based on β-mercaptoethanol and insulin-transferin-selenium, respectively. First, we compared the efficacy of the two methods for inducing differentiation into insulin-producing cells. We demonstrated that the insulin-transferin-selenium method is more efficient for inducing differentiation into insulin-secreting cells regardless of the source of the MSCs. Second, we compared the differentiation potential of two different MSC types: T-MSCs and adipose-derived MSCs (A-MSCs). T-MSCs had a differentiation capacity similar to that of A-MSCs and were capable of secreting insulin in response to glucose concentration. Islet-like clusters differentiated from T-MSCs had lower synaptotagmin-3, -5, -7, and -8 levels, and consequently lower secreted insulin levels than cells differentiated from A-MSCs. These results imply that T-MSCs can differentiate into functional pancreatic islet-like cells and could provide a novel, alternative cell therapy for diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-39
Number of pages13
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 International Society of Differentiation.


  • Adipose tissue
  • Diabetes
  • Insulin
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Tonsil


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