Identification of Markers for Newly Formed β-Cells in the Perinatal Period: A Time of Recognized β-Cell Immaturity

Identification of Markers for Newly Formed β-Cells in the Perinatal Period: A Time of Recognized β-Cell Immaturity

Markers of β-cell maturity would be useful in staging the differentiation of stem/progenitor cells to β-cells whether in vivo or in vitro. We previously identified markers for newly formed β-cells in regenerating rat pancreases after 90% partial pancreatectomy. To test the generality of these markers of newly formed β-cells, we examined their expression during the perinatal period, a time of recognized β-cell immaturity. We show by semiquantitative RT-PCR and immunostaining over the time course from embryonic day 18/20 to birth, 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 7 days, and adult that MMP-2, CK-19, and SPD are truly markers of new and immature β-cells and that their expression transiently peaks in the perinatal period and is not entirely synchronous. The shared expression of these markers among fetal, newborn, and newly regenerated β-cells, but not adult, strongly supports their use as potential markers for new β-cells in the assessment of both the maturity of stem cell–derived insulin-producing cells and the presence of newly formed islets (neogenesis) in the adult pancreas. (J Histochem Cytochem 58:369–376, 2010)

http://www.jhc.org/cgi/content/short/58/4/369

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