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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Feb 6;379(2):526-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.12.104. Epub 2008 Dec 29.

Chimeric mice reveal clonal development of pancreatic acini, but not islets.

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Section of Digestive Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 330 Cedar St, LMP 1080, New Haven, CT 06520-8019, USA.


Intestinal crypt stem cells establish clonal descendants. To determine whether the pancreas is patterned by a similar process, we used embryonic stem (ES) cell chimeric mice, in which male ES cells were injected into female blastocysts. Fluorescence in situ hybridization for the Y chromosome (Y-FISH) revealed clonal patterning of ES-derived cells in the adult mouse small intestine and pancreas. Intestinal crypts were entirely male or entirely female. Villi contained columns of male or female epithelial cells, consistent with upward migration of cells from the crypts which surround them. Within the exocrine pancreas, acini were entirely male or entirely female, consistent with patterning from a single stem/progenitor cell. Pancreatic islets contained a mixture of male and female cells, consistent with patterning from multiple progenitors. Male-female chimeric mice demonstrate that the adult mouse exocrine pancreatic acinus is patterned from a single stem/progenitor cell, while the endocrine pancreas arises from multiple progenitors.

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