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Adv Exp Med Biol. 1992;321:85-9; discussion 91-3.

Regeneration of pancreatic endocrine cells in interferon-gamma transgenic mice.

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Scripps Research Institute, Department of Neuropharmacology, La Jolla, CA.


We have shown that the pancreatic duct cells of IFN-gamma mouse are actively multiplying and that many duct cells differentiate to become endocrine cells. This islet regenerating process closely parallels the islet development during normal organogenesis in the fetus and offers a model for studying the cell lineage relationships of islet cells. The subject has received wide interest and intensive research in recent years. One of the noteworthy results of this study is the finding that duct cells retain the ability to proliferate and to differentiate into islet cells. Under normal conditions, duct cells do not continue to multiply or to differentiate. The results suggest that in the transgenic mice, the progenitor cells of embryonic multipotential duct cells transform into adult cells, but in the presence of appropriate signals or stimuli can resume their multipotential property. The appearance of hepatocytes indicates that while the cell proliferation observed largely results in endocrine cells, other differentiation pathways are occasionally possible. We also detect a few large cells containing albumin and alpha-fetoprotein in the periductal area. Pancreatic hepatocytes have also been observed in the rat after recovery from copper deficiency diet. Thus, the regeneration of islet cells in transgenic mice provides a model system for the study of factors modulating the growth pattern as well as the differentiation pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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