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Transcription factors positively and/or negatively impact gene expression by recruiting coregulatory factors, which interact through protein-protein binding. Here we demonstrate that mouse pancreas size and islet β-cell function are controlled by the ATP-dependent Swi/Snf chromatin remodeling coregulatory complex that physically associates with Pdx1, a diabetes-linked transcription factor essential to pancreatic morphogenesis and adult islet cell function and maintenance. Early embryonic deletion of just the Swi/Snf Brg1 ATPase subunit reduced multipotent pancreatic progenitor cell proliferation and resulted in pancreas hypoplasia. In contrast, removal of both Swi/Snf ATPase subunits, Brg1 and Brm, was necessary to compromise adult islet β-cell activity, which included whole-animal glucose intolerance, hyperglycemia, and impaired insulin secretion. Notably, lineage-tracing analysis revealed Swi/Snf-deficient β-cells lost the ability to produce the mRNAs for and other key metabolic genes without effecting the expression of many essential islet-enriched transcription factors. Swi/Snf was necessary for Pdx1 to bind to the gene enhancer, demonstrating the importance of this association in mediating chromatin accessibility. These results illustrate how fundamental the Pdx1:Swi/Snf coregulator complex is in the pancreas, and we discuss how disrupting their association could influence type 1 and type 2 diabetes susceptibility.
© 2019 by the American Diabetes Association.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Pancreatitis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality and is a risk factor for pancreatic tumorigenesis. Upon tissue damage, an inflammatory response, made up largely of macrophages, provides multiple growth factors that promote repair. Here, we examine the molecular pathways initiated by macrophages to promote pancreas recovery from pancreatitis.
METHODS - To induce organ damage, mice were subjected to cerulein-induced experimental pancreatitis and analyzed at various times of recovery. CD11b-DTR mice were used to deplete myeloid cells. Hbegf;LysM-Cre mice were used to ablate myeloid cell-derived heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like growth factor (HB-EGF). To ablate EGFR specifically during recovery, pancreatitis was induced in Egfr;Ptf1a;FSF-Rosa26 mice followed by tamoxifen treatment.
RESULTS - Macrophages infiltrating the pancreas in experimental pancreatitis make high levels of HB-EGF. Both depletion of myeloid cells and ablation of myeloid cell HB-EGF delayed recovery from experimental pancreatitis, resulting from a decrease in cell proliferation and an increase in apoptosis. Mechanistically, ablation of myeloid cell HB-EGF impaired epithelial cell DNA repair, ultimately leading to cell death. Soluble HB-EGF induced EGFR nuclear translocation and methylation of histone H4, facilitating resolution of DNA damage in pancreatic acinar cells in vitro. Consistent with its role as the primary receptor of HB-EGF, in vivo ablation of EGFR from pancreatic epithelium during recovery from pancreatitis resulted in accumulation of DNA damage.
CONCLUSIONS - By using novel conditional knockout mouse models, we determined that HB-EGF derived exclusively from myeloid cells induces epithelial cell proliferation and EGFR-dependent DNA repair, facilitating pancreas healing after injury.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS - The molecular response and function of pancreatic islet cells during metabolic stress is a complex process. The anatomical location and small size of pancreatic islets coupled with current methodological limitations have prevented the achievement of a complete, coherent picture of the role that lipids and proteins play in cellular processes under normal conditions and in diseased states. Herein, we describe the development of untargeted tissue imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) technologies for the study of in situ protein and, more specifically, lipid distributions in murine and human pancreases.
METHODS - We developed matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI) IMS protocols to study metabolite, lipid and protein distributions in mouse (wild-type and ob/ob mouse models) and human pancreases. IMS allows for the facile discrimination of chemically similar lipid and metabolite isoforms that cannot be distinguished using standard immunohistochemical techniques. Co-registration of MS images with immunofluorescence images acquired from serial tissue sections allowed accurate cross-registration of cell types. By acquiring immunofluorescence images first, this serial section approach guides targeted high spatial resolution IMS analyses (down to 15 μm) of regions of interest and leads to reduced time requirements for data acquisition.
RESULTS - MALDI IMS enabled the molecular identification of specific phospholipid and glycolipid isoforms in pancreatic islets with intra-islet spatial resolution. This technology shows that subtle differences in the chemical structure of phospholipids can dramatically affect their distribution patterns and, presumably, cellular function within the islet and exocrine compartments of the pancreas (e.g. 18:1 vs 18:2 fatty acyl groups in phosphatidylcholine lipids). We also observed the localisation of specific GM3 ganglioside lipids [GM3(d34:1), GM3(d36:1), GM3(d38:1) and GM3(d40:1)] within murine islet cells that were correlated with a higher level of GM3 synthase as verified by immunostaining. However, in human pancreas, GM3 gangliosides were equally distributed in both the endocrine and exocrine tissue, with only one GM3 isoform showing islet-specific localisation.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION - The development of more complete molecular profiles of pancreatic tissue will provide important insight into the molecular state of the pancreas during islet development, normal function, and diseased states. For example, this study demonstrates that these results can provide novel insight into the potential signalling mechanisms involving phospholipids and glycolipids that would be difficult to detect by targeted methods, and can help raise new hypotheses about the types of physiological control exerted on endocrine hormone-producing cells in islets. Importantly, the in situ measurements afforded by IMS do not require a priori knowledge of molecules of interest and are not susceptible to the limitations of immunohistochemistry, providing the opportunity for novel biomarker discovery. Notably, the presence of multiple GM3 isoforms in mouse islets and the differential localisation of lipids in human tissue underscore the important role these molecules play in regulating insulin modulation and suggest species, organ, and cell specificity. This approach demonstrates the importance of both high spatial resolution and high molecular specificity to accurately survey the molecular composition of complex, multi-functional tissues such as the pancreas.
The mechanism of how organ shape emerges and specifies cell fate is not understood. Pancreatic duct and endocrine lineages arise in a spatially distinct domain from the acinar lineage. Whether these lineages are pre-determined or settle once these niches have been established remains unknown. Here, we reconcile these two apparently opposing models, demonstrating that pancreatic progenitors re-localize to establish the niche that will determine their ultimate fate. We identify a p120ctn-regulated mechanism for coordination of organ architecture and cellular fate mediated by differential E-cadherin based cell sorting. Reduced p120ctn expression is necessary and sufficient to re-localize a subset of progenitors to the peripheral tip domain, where they acquire an acinar fate. The same mechanism is used re-iteratively during endocrine specification, where it balances the choice between the alpha and beta cell fates. In conclusion, organ patterning is regulated by p120ctn-mediated cellular positioning, which precedes and determines pancreatic progenitor fate.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - The Onecut 1 transcription factor (Oc1, a.k.a. HNF6) promotes differentiation of endocrine and duct cells of the pancreas; however, it has no known role in acinar cell differentiation. We sought to better understand the role of Oc1 in exocrine pancreas development and to identify its direct transcriptional targets.
METHODS - Pancreata from Oc1 (Oc1;Pdx1-Cre) mouse embryos and neonates were analyzed morphologically. High-throughput RNA-sequencing was performed on control and Oc1-deficient pancreas; chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing was performed on wild-type embryonic mouse pancreata to identify direct Oc1 transcriptional targets. Immunofluorescence labeling was used to confirm the RNA-sequencing /chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing results and to further investigate the effects of Oc1 loss on acinar cells.
RESULTS - Loss of Oc1 from the developing pancreatic epithelium resulted in disrupted duct and acinar cell development. RNA-sequencing revealed decreased expression of acinar cell regulatory factors (Nr5a2, Ptf1a, Gata4, Mist1) and functional genes (Amylase, Cpa1, Prss1, Spink1) at embryonic day (e) 18.5 in Oc1 samples. Approximately 1000 of the altered genes were also identified as direct Oc1 targets by chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing, including most of the previously noted genes. By immunolabeling, we confirmed that Amylase, Mist1, and GATA4 protein levels are significantly decreased by P2, and Spink1 protein levels were significantly reduced and mislocalized. The pancreatic duct regulatory factors Hnf1β and FoxA2 were also identified as direct Oc1 targets.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings confirm that Oc1 is an important regulator of both duct and acinar cell development in the embryonic pancreas. Novel transcriptional targets of Oc1 have now been identified and provide clarity into the mechanisms of Oc1 transcriptional regulation in the developing exocrine pancreas. Oc1 can now be included in the gene-regulatory network of acinar cell regulatory genes. Oc1 regulates other acinar cell regulatory factors and acinar cell functional genes directly, and it can also regulate some acinar cell regulatory factors (eg, Mist1) indirectly. Oc1 therefore plays an important role in acinar cell development.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In the developing pancreas, transient Neurog3-expressing progenitors give rise to four major islet cell types: α, β, δ, and γ; when and how the Neurog3 cells choose cell fate is unknown. Using single-cell RNA-seq, trajectory analysis, and combinatorial lineage tracing, we showed here that the Neurog3 cells co-expressing Myt1 (i.e., Myt1Neurog3) were biased toward β cell fate, while those not simultaneously expressing Myt1 (Myt1Neurog3) favored α fate. Myt1 manipulation only marginally affected α versus β cell specification, suggesting Myt1 as a marker but not determinant for islet-cell-type specification. The Myt1Neurog3 cells displayed higher Dnmt1 expression and enhancer methylation at Arx, an α-fate-promoting gene. Inhibiting Dnmts in pancreatic progenitors promoted α cell specification, while Dnmt1 overexpression or Arx enhancer hypermethylation favored β cell production. Moreover, the pancreatic progenitors contained distinct Arx enhancer methylation states without transcriptionally definable sub-populations, a phenotype independent of Neurog3 activity. These data suggest that Neurog3-independent methylation on fate-determining gene enhancers specifies distinct endocrine-cell programs.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
OBJECTIVE - This study investigated the temporal dynamics of pancreas volume and microstructure in children and adolescents with recent-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D) and individuals without diabetes, including a subset expressing autoantibodies associated with the early stages of T1D.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - MRI was performed in individuals with recent-onset stage 3 T1D ( = 51; median age 13 years) within 100 days after diagnosis (mean 67 days), 6 months, and 1 year postdiagnosis. Longitudinal MRI measurements were also made in similarly aged control participants ( = 57) and in autoantibody-positive individuals without diabetes ( = 20). The MRI protocol consisted of anatomical imaging to determine pancreas volume and quantitative MRI protocols interrogating tissue microstructure and composition.
RESULTS - Within 100 days of diabetes onset, individuals with T1D had a smaller pancreas (median volume 28.6 mL) than control participants (median volume 48.4 mL; < 0.001), including when normalized by individual weight ( < 0.001). Longitudinal measurements of pancreas volume increased in control participants over the year, consistent with adolescent growth, but pancreas volume declined over the first year after T1D diagnosis ( < 0.001). In multiple autoantibody-positive individuals, the pancreas volume was significantly larger than that of the T1D cohort ( = 0.017) but smaller than that of the control cohort ( = 0.04). Diffusion-weighted MRI showed that individuals with recent-onset T1D had a higher apparent diffusion coefficient ( = 0.012), suggesting a loss of cellular structural integrity, with heterogeneous pancreatic distribution.
CONCLUSIONS - These results indicate that pancreas volume is decreased in stages 1, 2, and 3 of T1D and decreases during the first year after diabetes onset and that this loss of pancreatic volume is accompanied by microstructural changes.
© 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.
Identification of cell-surface markers specific to human pancreatic β cells would allow in vivo analysis and imaging. Here we introduce a biomarker, ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase-3 (NTPDase3), that is expressed on the cell surface of essentially all adult human β cells, including those from individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. NTPDase3 is expressed dynamically during postnatal human pancreas development, appearing first in acinar cells at birth, but several months later its expression declines in acinar cells while concurrently emerging in islet β cells. Given its specificity and membrane localization, we utilized an NTPDase3 antibody for purification of live human β cells as confirmed by transcriptional profiling, and, in addition, for in vivo imaging of transplanted human β cells. Thus, NTPDase3 is a cell-surface biomarker of adult human β cells, and the antibody directed to this protein should be a useful new reagent for β cell sorting, in vivo imaging, and targeting.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
During mouse pancreas organogenesis, endocrine cells are born from progenitors residing in an epithelial plexus niche. After a period in a lineage-primed state, progenitors become endocrine committed via upregulation of We find that the to transition is associated with distinct stages of an epithelial egression process: narrowing the apical surface of the cell, basalward cell movement and eventual cell-rear detachment from the apical lumen surface to allow clustering as nascent islets under the basement membrane. Apical narrowing, basalward movement and transcriptional upregulation still occur without Neurog3 protein, suggesting that morphogenetic cues deployed within the plexus initiate endocrine commitment upstream or independently of Neurog3. Neurog3 is required for cell-rear detachment and complete endocrine-cell birth. The ROCK-nmMyoII pathway coordinates epithelial-cell morphogenesis and the progression through -expressing states. NmMyoII is necessary for apical narrowing, basalward cell displacement and upregulation, but all three are limited by ROCK activity. We propose that ROCK-nmMyoII activity, gene-dose and Notch signaling integrate endocrine fate allocation with epithelial plexus growth and morphogenesis, representing a feedback control circuit that coordinates morphogenesis with lineage diversification in the endocrine-birth niche.
© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Spatiotemporal balancing of cellular proliferation and differentiation is crucial for postnatal tissue homoeostasis and organogenesis. During embryonic development, pancreatic progenitors simultaneously proliferate and differentiate into the endocrine, ductal and acinar lineages. Using in vivo clonal analysis in the founder population of the pancreas here we reveal highly heterogeneous contribution of single progenitors to organ formation. While some progenitors are bona fide multipotent and contribute progeny to all major pancreatic cell lineages, we also identify numerous unipotent endocrine and ducto-endocrine bipotent clones. Single-cell transcriptional profiling at E9.5 reveals that endocrine-committed cells are molecularly distinct, whereas multipotent and bipotent progenitors do not exhibit different expression profiles. Clone size and composition support a probabilistic model of cell fate allocation and in silico simulations predict a transient wave of acinar differentiation around E11.5, while endocrine differentiation is proportionally decreased. Increased proliferative capacity of outer progenitors is further proposed to impact clonal expansion.