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Context It is worth noting that islets and betaTC6-F7 cells share a common pattern of expression of neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptors. Recently, several studies have hypothesized a role for nerve growth factor in pancreatic development and maturation, suggesting that nerve growth factor may be a survival factor for pancreatic beta-cells.
Objective The aim of the present study was to investigate the pattern of expression of neurotrophins and their relative receptors both in rat pancreatic islets and in a wide panel of insulinoma cell lines.
Main outcome measures A semi-quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reactionanalysis was performed on ribonucleic acids extracted from these cell.
Results Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrates that brainderived neurotrophic factor, as well as neurotrophins 3 and 4, are expressed both in islets and in all insulinoma cells, while nerve growth factor is expressed only in islets, betaTC6-F7 cells and, at a low level, in RIN 1046-38 cells. Receptors protein tyrosine kinase A and C are ubiquitously expressed both in islets and insulinoma cells. Tyrosine kinase B isabsent in HIT-T15 cells.
Conclusions These data indicate that betaTC6- F7 cells are a suitable model for studying the role of neurotrophins in the survival of betacells.