King's College London

Research portal

Isolation and characterization of human islet stellate cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Min Zha, Wei Xu, Peter M. Jones, Zilin Sun

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
Early online date4 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Zha et al 2016

    Zha_et_al_2016.pdf, 717 KB, application/pdf


    Accepted author manuscript


King's Authors


Background and aims: We have previously demonstrated that islet stellate cells (ISCs) exhibiting a similar phenotype to classical pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) could be isolated from rat islets, where they may contribute to islet fibrosis in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This study was designed to determine whether human islets also contain ISC. Materials and methods: Using standard explants techniques, human ISCs were enriched from freshly isolated human islets. Immunofluorescence visualization of markers for PSCs(α-smooth muscle actin;α-SMA), desmin, vimentin, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was used to characterize the human ISC. Cell counting kit-(CCK-8) was used to assess the proliferation of ISC. The wound-healing assay and the transwell migration were used to assess the migration capacity of ISC. Immunofluorescence against collagen typesI (col-I), collagen typesIII (col-III) and fibronectin (FN) was performed to identify extracellular matrix (ECM) component synthesized by ISC. Adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation were tried to detected stem cell potential. Results: In culture, ISC with triangular shape grow out from human islets. The passaged ISC expressed α-SMA, desmin, vimentin, GFAP and was positive for col-I, col-III and FN. The proliferation and migration ability of ISC was significantly slower than those of PSC. And both the human PSC and ISC were able to differentiate in vitro into adipocyte- and osteoblast-like cells. Conclusion: Similar to our previous rat experiment, the current study shows that human islets also contain ISC which is phenotypically similar but not identical to human PSC.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454