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A role for activin A and betacellulin in human fetal pancreatic cell differentiation and growth.

Authors
  • Demeterco, C
  • Beattie, G M
  • Dib, S A
  • Lopez, A D
  • Hayek, A
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2000
Volume
85
Issue
10
Pages
3892–3897
Identifiers
PMID: 11061554
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Activin A (Act.A), a member of the transforming growth factor beta family of secreted proteins, has been implicated in the regulation of growth and differentiation of various cell types. Betacellulin (BTC), a member of the epidermal growth factor family, converts exocrine AR42J cells to insulin-expressing cells when combined with Act.A. We have used primary cultures of human fetal pancreatic tissue to identify the effects of Act.A and/or BTC on islet development and growth. Exposure to Act.A resulted in a 1.5-fold increase in insulin content (P < 0.005) and a 2-fold increase in the number of cells immunopositive for insulin (P < 0.005). The formation of islet-like cell clusters, containing mainly epithelial cells, during a 5-day culture, was stimulated 1.4-fold by BTC (P < 0.05). BTC alone caused a 2.6-fold increase in DNA synthesis (P < 0.005). These data suggest that Act.A induces endocrine differentiation, whereas BTC has a mitogenic effect on human undifferentiated pancreatic epithelial cells.

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