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Insulinoma associated 1 (Insm1) plays an important role in regulating the development of cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems, olfactory epithelium and endocrine pancreas. To better define the role of Insm1 in pancreatic endocrine cell development we generated mice with an Insm1(GFPCre) reporter allele and used them to study Insm1-expressing and null populations. Endocrine progenitor cells lacking Insm1 were less differentiated and exhibited broad defects in hormone production, cell proliferation and cell migration. Embryos lacking Insm1 contained greater amounts of a non-coding Neurog3 mRNA splice variant and had fewer Neurog3/Insm1 co-expressing progenitor cells, suggesting that Insm1 positively regulates Neurog3. Moreover, endocrine progenitor cells that express either high or low levels of Pdx1, and thus may be biased towards the formation of specific cell lineages, exhibited cell type-specific differences in the genes regulated by Insm1. Analysis of the function of Ripply3, an Insm1-regulated gene enriched in the Pdx1-high cell population, revealed that it negatively regulates the proliferation of early endocrine cells. Taken together, these findings indicate that in developing pancreatic endocrine cells Insm1 promotes the transition from a ductal progenitor to a committed endocrine cell by repressing a progenitor cell program and activating genes essential for RNA splicing, cell migration, controlled cellular proliferation, vasculogenesis, extracellular matrix and hormone secretion.
© 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
OBJECTIVE - The glands of the stomach body and antral mucosa contain a complex compendium of cell lineages. In lower mammals, the distribution of oxyntic glands and antral glands define the anatomical regions within the stomach. We examined in detail the distribution of the full range of cell lineages within the human stomach.
DESIGN - We determined the distribution of gastric gland cell lineages with specific immunocytochemical markers in entire stomach specimens from three non-obese organ donors.
RESULTS - The anatomical body and antrum of the human stomach were defined by the presence of ghrelin and gastrin cells, respectively. Concentrations of somatostatin cells were observed in the proximal stomach. Parietal cells were seen in all glands of the body of the stomach as well as in over 50% of antral glands. MIST1 expressing chief cells were predominantly observed in the body although individual glands of the antrum also showed MIST1 expressing chief cells. While classically described antral glands were observed with gastrin cells and deep antral mucous cells without any parietal cells, we also observed a substantial population of mixed type glands containing both parietal cells and G cells throughout the antrum.
CONCLUSIONS - Enteroendocrine cells show distinct patterns of localisation in the human stomach. The existence of antral glands with mixed cell lineages indicates that human antral glands may be functionally chimeric with glands assembled from multiple distinct stem cell populations.
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Mammalian ghrelin is a stomach-derived peptide that stimulates secretion of growth hormone and food intake. Zebrafish is an excellent model system for forward genetic studies, and many aspects of energy homeostasis characterized in mammals appear to be conserved in the zebrafish. In this study, we investigated the expression and regulation of zebrafish ghrelin by metabolic status. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that zebrafish ghrelin is highly enriched in anterior gut associated tissues. Using in situ hybridization with adult zebrafish tissues, we found that zebrafish ghrelin mRNA was not expressed in intestine tissue, but rather in clusters of endocrine pancreas cells distinct from insulin-expressing islets. Fasting specifically upregulated pancreatic ghrelin but not brain ghrelin expression by 3- to 4-fold and refeeding restored ghrelin transcript to control levels seen in the fed group within 5 h. These results demonstrate that although ghrelin is expressed in a different site in zebrafish, it is responsive to metabolic state in a similar manner as mammalian ghrelin, suggesting a role in the regulation of feeding in teleosts, and thus validate the utility of zebrafish as a genetic model system for the analysis of the ghrelin system and energy homeostasis.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pancreas homeostasis is based on replication of differentiated cells in order to maintain proper organ size and function under changing physiological demand. Recent studies suggest that acinar cells, the most abundant cell type in the pancreas, are facultative progenitors capable of reverting to embryonic-like multipotent progenitor cells under injury conditions associated with inflammation. In parallel, it is becoming apparent that within the endocrine pancreas, hormone-producing cells can lose or switch their identity under metabolic stress or in response to single gene mutations. This new view of pancreas dynamics suggests interesting links between pancreas regeneration and pathologies including diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
All pancreatic endocrine cell types arise from a common endocrine precursor cell population, yet the molecular mechanisms that establish and maintain the unique gene expression programs of each endocrine cell lineage have remained largely elusive. Such knowledge would improve our ability to correctly program or reprogram cells to adopt specific endocrine fates. Here, we show that the transcription factor Nkx6.1 is both necessary and sufficient to specify insulin-producing beta cells. Heritable expression of Nkx6.1 in endocrine precursors of mice is sufficient to respecify non-beta endocrine precursors towards the beta cell lineage, while endocrine precursor- or beta cell-specific inactivation of Nkx6.1 converts beta cells to alternative endocrine lineages. Remaining insulin(+) cells in conditional Nkx6.1 mutants fail to express the beta cell transcription factors Pdx1 and MafA and ectopically express genes found in non-beta endocrine cells. By showing that Nkx6.1 binds to and represses the alpha cell determinant Arx, we identify Arx as a direct target of Nkx6.1. Moreover, we demonstrate that Nkx6.1 and the Arx activator Isl1 regulate Arx transcription antagonistically, thus establishing competition between Isl1 and Nkx6.1 as a critical mechanism for determining alpha versus beta cell identity. Our findings establish Nkx6.1 as a beta cell programming factor and demonstrate that repression of alternative lineage programs is a fundamental principle by which beta cells are specified and maintained. Given the lack of Nkx6.1 expression and aberrant activation of non-beta endocrine hormones in human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived insulin(+) cells, our study has significant implications for developing cell replacement therapies.
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 and ligand SDF-1α are expressed in fetal and adult mouse islets. Neutralization of CXCR4 has previously been shown to diminish ductal cell proliferation and increase apoptosis in the IFNγ transgenic mouse model in which the adult mouse pancreas displays islet regeneration. Here, we demonstrate that CXCR4 and SDF-1α are expressed in the human fetal pancreas and that during early gestation, CXCR4 colocalizes with neurogenin 3 (ngn3), a key transcription factor for endocrine specification in the pancreas. Treatment of islet like clusters (ICCs) derived from human fetal pancreas with SDF-1α resulted in increased proliferation of epithelial cells in ICCs without a concomitant increase in total insulin expression. Exposure of ICCs in vitro to AMD3100, a pharmacological inhibitor of CXCR4, did not alter expression of endocrine hormones insulin and glucagon, or the pancreatic endocrine transcription factors PDX1, Nkx6.1, Ngn3 and PAX4. However, a strong inhibition of β cell genesis was observed when in vitro AMD3100 treatment of ICCs was followed by two weeks of in vivo treatment with AMD3100 after ICC transplantation into mice. Analysis of the grafts for human C-peptide found that inhibition of CXCR4 activity profoundly inhibits islet development. Subsequently, a model pancreatic epithelial cell system (CFPAC-1) was employed to study the signals that regulate proliferation and apoptosis by the SDF-1α/CXCR4 axis. From a selected panel of inhibitors tested, both the PI 3-kinase and MAPK pathways were identified as critical regulators of CFPAC-1 proliferation. SDF-1α stimulated Akt phosphorylation, but failed to increase phosphorylation of Erk above the high basal levels observed. Taken together, these results indicate that SDF-1α/CXCR4 axis plays a critical regulatory role in the genesis of human islets.
Restoration of regulated insulin secretion is the ultimate goal of therapy for type 1 diabetes. Here, we show that, unexpectedly, somatic ablation of Foxo1 in Neurog3(+) enteroendocrine progenitor cells gives rise to gut insulin-positive (Ins(+)) cells that express markers of mature β cells and secrete bioactive insulin as well as C-peptide in response to glucose and sulfonylureas. Lineage tracing experiments showed that gut Ins(+) cells arise cell autonomously from Foxo1-deficient cells. Inducible Foxo1 ablation in adult mice also resulted in the generation of gut Ins(+) cells. Following ablation by the β-cell toxin streptozotocin, gut Ins(+) cells regenerate and produce insulin, reversing hyperglycemia in mice. The data indicate that Neurog3(+) enteroendocrine progenitors require active Foxo1 to prevent differentiation into Ins(+) cells. Foxo1 ablation in gut epithelium may provide an approach to restore insulin production in type 1 diabetes.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is secreted from the L cell of the gut in response to oral nutrient delivery. To determine if endogenously released GLP-1 contributes to the incretin effect and postprandial glucose regulation, conscious dogs (n = 8) underwent an acclimation period (t = -60 to -20 min), followed by a basal sampling period (t = -20 to 0 min) and an experimental period (t = 0-320 min). At the beginning of the experimental period, t = 0 min, a peripheral infusion of either saline or GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) antagonist, exendin (9-39) (Ex-9, 500 pmol/kg/min), was started. At t = 30 min, animals consumed a liquid mixed meal, spiked with acetaminophen. All animals were studied twice (± Ex-9) in random fashion, and the experiments were separated by a 1-2-week washout period. Antagonism of the GLP-1R did not have an effect, as indicated by repeated-measures MANOVA analysis of the Δ AUC from t = 45-320 min of arterial plasma glucose, GLP-1, insulin, glucagon, and acetaminophen levels. Therefore, endogenous GLP-1 is not sufficient to alter postprandial glucose regulation in the dog.
CONTEXT - Multiple autoimmune disorders (e.g. Addison's disease, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease) are associated with HLA-DR3, but it is likely that alleles of additional genes in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-DRB1 contribute to disease.
OBJECTIVE - The objective of the study was to characterize major histocompatability complex (MHC) haplotypes conferring extreme risk for autoimmune Addison's disease (AD).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - Eighty-six 21-hydroxylase autoantibody-positive, nonautoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1, Caucasian individuals collected from 1992 to 2009 with clinical AD from 68 families (12 multiplex and 56 simplex) were genotyped for HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQB1, MICA, HLA-B, and HLA-A as well as high density MHC single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis for 34.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - AD and genotype were measured.
RESULT - Ninety-seven percent of the multiplex individuals had both HLA-DR3 and HLA-B8 vs. 60% of simplex AD patients (P = 9.72 × 10(-4)) and 13% of general population controls (P = 3.00 × 10(-19)). The genotype DR3/DR4 with B8 was present in 85% of AD multiplex patients, 24% of simplex patients, and 1.5% of control individuals (P = 4.92 × 10(-191)). The DR3-B8 haplotype of AD patients had HLA-A1 less often (47%) than controls (81%, P = 7.00 × 10(-5)) and type 1 diabetes patients (73%, P = 1.93 × 10(-3)). Analysis of 1228 SNPs across the MHC for individuals with AD revealed a shorter conserved haplotype (3.8) with the loss of the extended conserved 3.8.1 haplotype approximately halfway between HLA-B and HLA-A.
CONCLUSION - Extreme risk for AD, especially in multiplex families, is associated with haplotypic DR3 variants, in particular a portion (3.8) but not all of the conserved 3.8.1 haplotype.
Studies in both humans and rodents have found that insulin(+) cells appear within or near ducts of the adult pancreas, particularly following damage or disease, suggesting that these insulin(+) cells arise de novo from ductal epithelium. We have found that insulin(+) cells are continuous with duct cells in the epithelium that makes up the hyperplastic ducts of both chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in humans. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that both hyperplastic ductal cells and their associated insulin(+) cells arise from the same cell of origin. Using a mouse model that develops insulin(+) cell-containing hyperplastic ducts in response to the growth factor TGFalpha, we performed genetic lineage tracing experiments to determine which cells gave rise to both hyperplastic ductal cells and duct-associated insulin(+) cells. We found that hyperplastic ductal cells arose largely from acinar cells that changed their cell fate, or transdifferentiated, into ductal cells. However, insulin(+) cells adjacent to acinar-derived ductal cells arose from pre-existing insulin(+) cells, suggesting that islet endocrine cells can intercalate into hyperplastic ducts as they develop. We conclude that apparent pancreatic plasticity can result both from the ability of acinar cells to change fate and of endocrine cells to reorganize in association with duct structures.