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Fission of pancreatic islets during postnatal growth of the mouse


Seymour, PA and Bennett, WR and Slack, JMW, Fission of pancreatic islets during postnatal growth of the mouse, Journal of Anatomy: Molecular, Cellular and Experimental Morphology, 204, (2) pp. 103-116. ISSN 0021-8782 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1469-7580.2004.00265.x


A cell composition analysis was made of the pancreatic islets in postnatal H253 mice. This line has a lacZ insertion on the X chromosome so that in female hemizygotes 50% of cells should be positive for β-galactosidase and 50% negative. Immediately after birth, the islets were of a heterogeneous cell composition. However, by 4 weeks some islets have become homogeneous. This suggests that islets progress towards monoclonality in a similar way to the intestinal crypts and stomach gastric glands. Pancreatic islets may therefore represent 'structural proliferative units' in the overall histological organization of the pancreas. Reduction of genetic heterogeneity might arise from cell turnover, fission of islets or both. Analysis of the cell composition of the X-inactivation mosaic mice also provides the first clear evidence for islet fission in pancreatic development. Irregularly shaped islets resembling dumb-bells, with a characteristic neck of α-cells, were observed with decreasing frequency with increasing age. Three-dimensional reconstruction confirmed their resemblance to conjoined islets. The cell composition analysis showed: (1) the relatedness of the two sides of a dumb-bell islet is significantly higher than between two non-dumb-bell islets and (2) the relatedness of two randomly selected islets decreases as the distance between them increases. This suggests that dumb-bell islets are in a state of fission rather than fusion, and that islet fission is a mode of islet production in the postnatal pancreas.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Biochemistry and cell biology
Research Field:Cell development, proliferation and death
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bennett, WR (Dr Bill Bennett)
ID Code:63719
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2010-05-26
Last Modified:2011-08-01

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