Generation and characterization of Ptf1a antiserum and localization of Ptf1a in relation to Nkx6.1 and Pdx1 during the earliest stages of mouse pancreas development.

Hald J, Sprinkel AE, Ray M, Serup P, Wright C, Madsen OD
J Histochem Cytochem. 2008 56 (6): 587-95

PMID: 18347078 · PMCID: PMC2386769 · DOI:10.1369/jhc.2008.950675

Ptf1a and Pdx1 are critical transcription factors of early pancreatic development, as shown by loss of function studies where lack of each gene alone causes almost complete pancreas agenesis. Ptf1a is particularly interesting because it is linked to a recently reported signature gene expression profile associated with the multipotent condition. Few useful antibody reagents have been available for consistent and reliable immunohistochemical visualization of Ptf1a protein expression in the early developing pancreas in which the level of production of this critical regulator seems to be very low. We describe a novel rabbit antibody raised against the c-terminal portion of the mouse Ptf1a protein and report immunodetection, for the first time, as early as embryonic day (e) 8.5-e8.75 in the dorsal and ventral buds of the mouse pancreas as well as in the neural tube at e10.0. Detailed confocal analysis identifies an abundant triple-positive (Ptf1a(+)/Nkx6.1(+)/Pdx1(+)) putative early multipotent pancreatic progenitor cell that marks the e9.5 dorsal pancreas and e10.5 ventral pancreas. Furthermore, expression patterns of Nkx6.1 vs Ptf1a subsequently segregate during branching morphogenesis (trunk vs tip), ending up marking two distinct cell populations of progenitors at e12.5. From e15.5 (mouse) and in adult pancreas (mouse, rat, and human), the Ptf1a antibody marks only acinar cell nuclei, as expected for its subsequent role in committing/maintaining cells in this differentiated state. In summary, this antibody is a novel tool to further characterize important early steps of pancreas differentiation. This manuscript contains online supplemental material at Please visit this article online to view these materials.

MeSH Terms (17)

Adult Animals Antibodies Antibody Specificity Guinea Pigs Homeodomain Proteins Humans Mice Multipotent Stem Cells Neural Tube Pancreas Pancreas, Exocrine Rabbits Rats Rats, Wistar Trans-Activators Transcription Factors

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