Author(s): Yatoh S, Dodge R, Akashi T, Omer A, Sharma A,
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Abstract To test whether pancreatic duct cells are in vitro progenitors, they were purified from dispersed islet-depleted human pancreatic tissue using CA19-9 antibody. The purified fraction was almost entirely CK19+ with no insulin+ cells, whereas the unpurified cells (crude duct) were 56\% CK19+ and 0.4\% insulin+ of total cells (0.7\% of CK19+ cells). These cells were expanded as monolayers, aggregated under serum-free conditions, and transplanted into normoglycemic NOD/SCID mice. In crude duct grafts, insulin+ cells increased to 6.1\% of CK19+ cells. Purified duct cells had slow expansion and poor aggregation, as well as engraftment. The addition of 0.1\% cultured stromal cells improved these parameters. These stromal cells contained no CK19+ cells and no insulin by either quantitative RT-PCR or immunohistochemistry; stromal cell aggregates and grafts contained no insulin+ cells. Aggregation of purified duct plus stromal preparations induced insulin+ cells (0.1\% of CK19+ cells), with further increase to 1.1\% in grafts. Insulin mRNA mirrored these changes. In these grafts, all insulin+ cells were in duct-like structures, while in crude duct grafts, 85\% were. Some insulin+ cells coexpressed duct markers (CK19 and CA19-9) and heat shock protein (HSP)27, a marker of nonislet cells, suggesting the transition from duct. Thus, purified duct cells from adult human pancreas can differentiate to insulin-producing cells.
This article was published in Diabetes
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy