Sean W Limesand
Islet replacement is a promising therapy for treating diabetes mellitus, but the supply of donor tissue for transplantation is limited. To overcome this limitation, endocrine tissue can be expanded, but this requires an understanding of normal developmental processes that regulate islet formation. In this study, we compare pancreas development in sheep and human, and provide evidence that an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is involved in beta-cell differentiation and islet formation. Transcription factors know to regulate pancreas formation, pancreatic duodenal homeobox factor 1, neurogenin 3, NKX2-2, and NKX6-1, which were expressed in the appropriate spatial and temporal pattern to coordinate pancreatic bud outgrowth and direct endocrine cell specification in sheep. Immunofluorescence staining of the developing pancreas was used to co-localize insulin and epithelial proteins (cytokeratin, E-cadherin, and beta-catenin) or insulin and a mesenchymal protein (vimentin). In sheep, individual beta-cells become insulin-positive in the progenitor epithelium, then lose epithelial characteristics, and migrate out of the epithelial layer to form islets. As beta-cells exit the epithelial progenitor cell layer, they acquire mesenchymal characteristics, shown by their acquisition of vimentin. In situ hybridization expression analysis of the SNAIL family members of transcriptional repressors (SNAIL1, -2, and -3; listed as SNAI1, -2, -3 in the HUGO Database) showed that each of the SNAIL genes was expressed in the ductal epithelium during development, and SNAIL-1 and -2 were co-expressed with insulin. Our findings provide strong evidence that the movement of beta-cells from the pancreatic ductal epithelium involves an EMT.
In this study, we examined chronic norepinephrine suppression of insulin secretion in sheep fetuses with placental insufficiency-induced intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) was measured with a square-wave hyperglycemic clamp in the presence or absence of adrenergic receptor antagonists phentolamine (alpha) and propranolol (beta). IUGR fetuses were hypoglycemic and hypoxemic and had lower GSIS responsiveness (P
PMID: 18704001;PMCID: PMC2678008;Abstract:
Nutritional interventions for intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) have raised concerns for fetal toxicity, the mechanisms of which are unknown. Most of these attempts did not aim to normalize fetal metabolic conditions. Therefore, we used a model of IUGR to determine whether normalization of fetal hypoglycemia for 2 wks would be tolerated and increase insulin concentrations and pancreatic β-cell mass. IUGR fetuses received either a direct saline infusion (Sal, the control group) or a 30% dextrose infusion (Glu) to normalize glucose concentrations. Neither insulin concentrations (0.11 ± 0.01 Glu vs. 0.10 ± 0.01 ng/mL Sal) nor β-cell mass (65.2 ± 10.3 Glu vs. 74.7 ± 18.4 mg Sal) changed. Glucose stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) was lower in the Glu group. Glu fetuses became progressively more hypoxic: O 2 content 1.4 ± 0.5 Glu vs. 2.7 ± 0.4 mM Sal, p 2) (53.6 ± 0.8 Glu vs. 51.6 ± 0.8 Sal, p
Placental lactogen (PL) is thought to alter maternal metabolism to increase the pool of nutrients available for the fetus and to stimulate fetal nutrient uptake. The ovine (o) PL gene is expressed in chorionic binucleate cells (oBNC) and cis-elements located within the proximal promoter (-124 to +16 bp) are capable of trophoblast-specific expression in human (BeWo) and rat (Rcho-1) choriocarcinoma cells. Protein-DNA interactions were identified with oBNC nuclear extracts, and mutational analysis of these regions revealed a previously undefined cis-element from -102/-123 bp that enhances promoter activity in BeWo cells but not Rcho-1 cells. Characterization of this region identified the nucleotide sequence CCAGCA (-105/ -110; o110) as the responsible cis-acting element. Southwestern analysis with this element identified a binding protein with an apparent Mr of approximately 41,000. Expression screening of an ovine placental cDNA library identified six homologous cDNAs, which shared identity with human (97%) and mouse (95%) Purα, a single-stranded DNA binding protein. The Purα-o110 interaction was confirmed by electrophoretic mobility-supershift assays with oBNC and BeWo extracts but was absent with Rcho-1 extracts. Furthermore, overexpression of ovine Purα enhanced transactivation of the oPL gene proximal promoter in both choriocarcinoma cell lines through this novel cis-element. This study identified a previously undefined cis-element, which interacts with Purα to augment PL gene transcription.