A window in time for β-cell regeneration

Benjamin J. Weidemann, Joseph Bass*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In vivo regeneration of β cells provides hope for self-renewal of functional insulin-secreting cells following β-cell failure, a historically fatal condition now sustainable only by administration of exogenous insulin. Despite advances in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, the path toward endogenous renewal of β-cell populations has remained elusive. Intensive efforts have focused on elucidating pancreatic transcriptional programs that can drive the division and (trans-)differentiation of non-β cells to produce insulin. A surprise has been the identification of an essential role of the molecular circadian clock in the regulation of competent insulin-producing β cells. In this issue of Genes & Development, work by Petrenko and colleagues (pp. 1650-1665) now shows a requirement for the intrinsic clock in the regenerative capacity of insulin-producing cells following genetic ablation of β cells. These studies raise the possibility that enhancing core clock activity may provide an adjuvant in cell replacement therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1559-1561
Number of pages3
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Circadian clockwork
  • Diabetes
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Insulin-rtTA/ TET-DTA mouse model
  • Pancreatic α and β cells
  • β-cell proliferation
  • β-cell regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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