Different developmental histories of beta-cells generate functional and proliferative heterogeneity during islet growth.

Nat Commun 2017 09 22;8(1):664. Epub 2017 Sep 22.

DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Cluster of Excellence, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, 01307, Germany.

The proliferative and functional heterogeneity among seemingly uniform cells is a universal phenomenon. Identifying the underlying factors requires single-cell analysis of function and proliferation. Here we show that the pancreatic beta-cells in zebrafish exhibit different growth-promoting and functional properties, which in part reflect differences in the time elapsed since birth of the cells. Calcium imaging shows that the beta-cells in the embryonic islet become functional during early zebrafish development. At later stages, younger beta-cells join the islet following differentiation from post-embryonic progenitors. Notably, the older and younger beta-cells occupy different regions within the islet, which generates topological asymmetries in glucose responsiveness and proliferation. Specifically, the older beta-cells exhibit robust glucose responsiveness, whereas younger beta-cells are more proliferative but less functional. As the islet approaches its mature state, heterogeneity diminishes and beta-cells synchronize function and proliferation. Our work illustrates a dynamic model of heterogeneity based on evolving proliferative and functional beta-cell states.Βeta-cells have recently been shown to be heterogeneous with regard to morphology and function. Here, the authors show that β-cells in zebrafish switch from proliferative to functional states with increasing time since β-cell birth, leading to functional and proliferative heterogeneity.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00461-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5610262PMC
September 2017
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