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.
- Adipose tissue
- Mesenchymal stem cell