Fusion of MSCs with β-cells results in a b-cell like phenotype



At TIPS journal club meeting held on May 20, 2019, Dr. Zahra Azizi, assistant professor of School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine (TUMS), presented a topic of “Fusion of MSCs with β-cells results in a b-cell like phenotype’’. The successful cell fusion can lead to stable functional β-cell like cells. By electrofusion of immortal human PANC-1 epithelial cells with human pancreatic islets a functional human beta cell line can be established. By combining the multipotent, anti-apoptotic, immunogenic and tissue repair capacity of the MSCs with the beta cell specific insulin production, a stable novel beta cell type is established. This project describes an optimized virus-free cell fusion protocol and produced β-MSC heterokaryons by fusion of human MSCs with rat INS-1E cells or with dispersed human islet cells to generate differentiated β-MSCs.