Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Improving human β-cell maturation in vitro

Patients with diabetes could benefit from cell-based insulin therapy, but the supply of human islet tissue is limited. A study now reports an approach in which human-pluripotent-stem-cell-derived islet β-cells are purified and re-aggregated to generate cells that more closely resemble mature human β-cells.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: An improved protocol for human stem cell to β-cell differentiation in vitro.


  1. Global report on diabetes WHO 2016.

  2. DiMeglio, L. A., Evans-Molina, C. & Oram, R. A. Lancet 391, 2449–2462 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Muoio, D. M. & Newgard, C. B. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 9, 193–205 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Shapiro, A. M., Pokrywczynska, M. & Ricordi, C. Nat. Rev. Endocrinol. 13, 268–277 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Nair, G. G. et al. Nat. Cell Biol. (2019).

  6. Pagliuca, F. W. et al. Cell 159, 428–439 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Rezania, A. et al. Nat. Biotech. 32, 1121–1133 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Russ, H. A. et al. EMBO J. 34, 1759–1772 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Henquin, J.-C., Dufrane, D., Kerr-Conte, J. & Nequin, M. Am. J. Physiol Endocrin. Metab. 309, 640–650 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Newgard, C. B. Cell Metab. 25, 43–56 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Prentki, M., Matschinsky, F. M. & Madiraju, S. R. Cell Metab. 18, 162–185 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Yoshihara, E. et al. Cell Metab. 23, 622–634 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Henquin, J.-C. Diabetes Res. Clin. Pract. 93, S27–S31 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Ferdaoussi, M. et al. J. Clin. Invest. 125, 3847–3860 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christopher B. Newgard.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hohmeier, H.E., An, J. & Newgard, C.B. Improving human β-cell maturation in vitro. Nat Cell Biol 21, 119–121 (2019).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing