Monoclonal side population progenitors isolated from human fetal pancreas
The side population (SP) phenotype might represent a common molecular feature for a wide variety of stem cells. The aim of this study was to investigate whether monoclonal SP progenitor cells were established from human fetal pancreas. Islet-like cell clusters (ICCs) were isolated from human fetal pancreas. Monolayer epithelium-like cells were obtained from the ICCs and passaged thereafter. Single SP or non-SP cell were sorted from these cells at the sixth passage. The rate of clone formation was about 2.7% for the SP cells, whereas there was no clone formation for the non-SP cells. The SP cell clones were further expanded for more than 15 passages and induced for differentiation into cells with characteristics of pancreatic -cells. We show for the first time that the monoclonal SP progenitors are established from human fetal pancreas. Therefore, this study may offer a novel method to purify pancreatic progenitor cells from human tissues.
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