Understanding pancreatic development is important for at least three reasons: first, from a cognitive point of view, to understand the development of a complex organ, the pancreas; next, because it is now clear that abnormal pancreatic development can give rise to specific forms of diabetes in humans; and finally, because, if we want to define new treatments for diabetes based on cell therapy or regenerative medicine, we will have to understand in detail how β-cells develop. In the present paper, we summarize what we currently know concerning pancreatic development and concentrate on some intercellular and environmental signals controlling pancreatic development.

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