, Volume 51, Issue 10, pp 1862-1872
Date: 29 Jul 2008

IGF-I mediates regeneration of endocrine pancreas by increasing beta cell replication through cell cycle protein modulation in mice

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

Recovery from diabetes requires restoration of beta cell mass. Igf1 expression in beta cells of transgenic mice regenerates the endocrine pancreas during type 1 diabetes. However, the IGF-I-mediated mechanism(s) restoring beta cell mass are not fully understood. Here, we examined the contribution of pre-existing beta cell proliferation and transdifferentiation of progenitor cells from bone marrow in IGF-I-induced islet regeneration.

Methods

Streptozotocin (STZ)-treated Igf1-expressing transgenic mice transplanted with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing bone marrow cells were used. Bone marrow cell transdifferentiation and beta cell replication were measured by GFP/insulin and by the antigen identified by monoclonal antibody Ki67/insulin immunostaining of pancreatic sections respectively. Key cell cycle proteins were measured by western blot, quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry.

Results

Despite elevated IGF-I production, recruitment and differentiation of bone marrow cells to beta cells was not increased either in healthy or STZ-treated transgenic mice. In contrast, after STZ treatment, IGF-I overproduction decreased beta cell apoptosis and increased beta cell replication by modulating key cell cycle proteins. Decreased nuclear levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (p27) and increased nuclear localisation of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-4 were consistent with increased beta cell proliferation. However, islet expression of cyclin D1 increased only after STZ treatment. In contrast, higher levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (p21) were detected in islets from non-STZ-treated transgenic mice.

Conclusions/interpretation

These findings indicate that IGF-I modulates cell cycle proteins and increases replication of pre-existing beta cells after damage. Therefore, our study suggests that local production of IGF-I may be a safe approach to regenerate endocrine pancreas to reverse diabetes.

J. Agudo and E. Ayuso contributed equally to this work.