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Cell. 2013 May 9;153(4):747-58. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Betatrophin: a hormone that controls pancreatic β cell proliferation.

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  • 1Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

Abstract

Replenishing insulin-producing pancreatic β cell mass will benefit both type I and type II diabetics. In adults, pancreatic β cells are generated primarily by self-duplication. We report on a mouse model of insulin resistance that induces dramatic pancreatic β cell proliferation and β cell mass expansion. Using this model, we identify a hormone, betatrophin, that is primarily expressed in liver and fat. Expression of betatrophin correlates with β cell proliferation in other mouse models of insulin resistance and during gestation. Transient expression of betatrophin in mouse liver significantly and specifically promotes pancreatic β cell proliferation, expands β cell mass, and improves glucose tolerance. Thus, betatrophin treatment could augment or replace insulin injections by increasing the number of endogenous insulin-producing cells in diabetics.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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