We recently reported the scalable in vitro production of functional stem cell-derived β-cells (SC-β cells). Here we extend this approach to generate the first SC-β cells from type 1 diabetic patients (T1D). β-cells are destroyed during T1D disease progression, making it difficult to extensively study them in the past. These T1D SC-β cells express β-cell markers, respond to glucose both in vitro and in vivo, prevent alloxan-induced diabetes in mice and respond to anti-diabetic drugs. Furthermore, we use an in vitro disease model to demonstrate the cells respond to different forms of β-cell stress. Using these assays, we find no major differences in T1D SC-β cells compared with SC-β cells derived from non-diabetic patients. These results show that T1D SC-β cells could potentially be used for the treatment of diabetes, drug screening and the study of β-cell biology.
Pancreatic β cells can be generated from pluripotent stem cells. Here, the authors show that human induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with type 1 diabetes can be differentiated into β-like cells that have no detectable differences compared with cells from non-diabetic individuals.