Blood vessel signals during development and beyond.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
Current Topics in Developmental Biology (Impact Factor: 4.21). 02/2004; 62:1-36. DOI: 10.1016/S0070-2153(04)62001-1
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous studies have shown that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling is important for the development of pancreatic microvasculature via its regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). Pancreas-specific STAT3-KO mice exhibit glucose intolerance and impaired insulin secretion in vivo, along with microvascular alterations in the pancreas. However, the specific role of STAT3 signaling in the regulation of pancreatic islet development and function is not entirely understood. To investigate the role of STAT3 signaling in the formation and maintenance of pancreatic islets, we studied pancreas-specific STAT3-KO mice. Histological analysis showed that STAT3 deficiency affected pancreatic islet morphology. We found an increased proportion of small-sized islets and a reduced fraction of medium-sized islets, indicating abnormal islet development in STAT3-KO mice. Interestingly, the islet area relative to the whole pancreas area in transgenic and control mice was not significantly different. Immunohistochemical analysis on pancreatic cryosections revealed abnormalities in islet architecture in STAT3-KO mice: the pattern of peripheral distribution of glucagon-positive α-cells was altered. At the same time, islets belonging to different size categories isolated from STAT3-KO mice exhibited normal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in perifusion experiments in vitro when compared to control mice. Our data demonstrate that STAT3 signaling in the pancreas is required for normal islet formation and/or maintenance. Altered islet size distribution in the KO mice does not result in an impaired islet secretory function in vitro. Therefore, our current study supports that the glucose intolerance and in vivo insulin secretion defect in pancreas-specific STAT3-KO mice is due to altered microvasculature in the pancreas, and not intrinsic beta-cell function.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e71277. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0071277 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes is characterized by the loss, or gradual dysfunction, of insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells. Although beta-cells can replicate in younger adults, the available diabetes therapies do not specifically target beta-cell regeneration. Novel approaches are needed to discover new therapeutics and to understand the contributions of endocrine progenitors and beta-cell regeneration during islet expansion. Here, we show that the regulators of G protein signaling Rgs16 and Rgs8 are expressed in pancreatic progenitor and endocrine cells during development, then extinguished in adults, but reactivated in models of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Exendin-4, a glucagon-like peptide 1 (Glp-1)/incretin mimetic that stimulates beta-cell expansion, insulin secretion and normalization of blood glucose levels in diabetics, also promoted re-expression of Rgs16::GFP within a few days in pancreatic ductal-associated cells and islet beta-cells. These findings show that Rgs16::GFP and Rgs8::GFP are novel and early reporters of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-stimulated beta-cell expansion after therapeutic treatment and in diabetes models. Rgs16 and Rgs8 are likely to control aspects of islet progenitor cell activation, differentiation and beta-cell expansion in embryos and metabolically stressed adults.
    Disease Models and Mechanisms 09/2010; 3(9-10):567-80. DOI:10.1242/dmm.003210 · 5.54 Impact Factor