Transcriptional and epigenetic program changes of induced beta cells over time [RRBS-seq]
ABSTRACT: Direct lineage conversion is a promising approach to generate therapeutically important cell types for disease modeling and tissue repair. However, it is often unclear whether lineage-reprogrammed cells remain stable long-term and whether the properties of the reprogrammed cells evolve over time. Here, using an improved method of converting pancreatic acinar cells to beta-cells, we show that induced beta-cells persist in the adult pancreas for up to 14 months and form islet-like structures. Detailed analyses of induced cells over 7 months reveal that global DNA methylation changes occur rapidly whereas transcription network remodeling evolves over two months to resemble that of endogenous beta-cells and then stabilizes thereafter. Progressive gain of beta-cell function by converted cells during the 7 month period coincides with both transcriptional changes and the formation of islet-like structures. These studies demonstrate the ability of lineage-reprogrammed cells to achieve a stable state and identify key cellular and molecular milestones during their long-term evolution. Acinar cells and beta cells were collected as control, as well as induced beta cell samples at day 10, day 30, day 60, and 7 months
Project description:Direct lineage conversion is a promising approach to generate therapeutically important cell types for disease modeling and tissue repair. However, it is often unclear whether lineage-reprogrammed cells remain stable long-term and whether the properties of the reprogrammed cells evolve over time. Here, using an improved method of converting pancreatic acinar cells to beta-cells, we show that induced beta-cells persist in the adult pancreas for up to 14 months and form islet-like structures. Detailed analyses of induced cells over 7 months reveal that global DNA methylation changes occur rapidly whereas transcription network remodeling evolves over two months to resemble that of endogenous beta-cells and then stabilizes thereafter. Progressive gain of beta-cell function by converted cells during the 7 month period coincides with both transcriptional changes and the formation of islet-like structures. These studies demonstrate the ability of lineage-reprogrammed cells to achieve a stable state and identify key cellular and molecular milestones during their long-term evolution. Overall design: Acinar cells and beta cells were collected as control, as well as induced beta cell samples at day 10, day 30, day 60, and 7 months
Project description:A promising approach to new diabetes therapies is to generate ? cells from other differentiated pancreatic cells in vivo. Because the acinar cells represent the most abundant cell type in the pancreas, an attractive possibility is to reprogram acinar cells into ? cells. The transcription factor Pdx1 (Pancreas/duodenum homeobox protein 1) is essential for pancreatic development and cell lineage determination. Our objective is to examine whether exogenous expression of Pdx1 in acinar cells of adult mice might induce reprogramming of acinar cells into ? cells. We established a transgenic mouse line in which Pdx1 and EGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) could be inducibly expressed in the acinar cells. After induction of Pdx1, we followed the acinar cells for their expression of exocrine and endocrine markers using cell-lineage tracing with EGFP. The acinar cell-specific expression of Pdx1 in adult mice reprogrammed the acinar cells as endocrine precursor cells, which migrated into the pancreatic islets and differentiated into insulin-, somatostatin-, or PP (pancreatic polypeptide)-producing endocrine cells, but not into glucagon-producing cells. When the mice undergoing such pancreatic reprogramming were treated with streptozotocin (STZ), the newly generated insulin-producing cells were able to ameliorate STZ-induced diabetes. This paradigm of in vivo reprogramming indicates that acinar cells hold promise as a source for new islet cells in regenerative therapies for diabetes.
Project description:Direct lineage conversion of adult cells is a promising approach for regenerative medicine. A major challenge of lineage conversion is to generate specific subtypes of cells, closely related cells with distinct properties. The pancreatic islets contain three major hormone-secreting endocrine subtypes: insulin+ β-cells, glucagon+ α-cells, and somatostatin+ δ-cells. We previously reported that a combination of three transcription factors, Ngn3, Mafa, and Pdx1, directly reprogram pancreatic acinar cells to β-cells. We now show that acinar cells can be converted to δ-like and α-like cells by Ngn3 and Ngn3+Mafa respectively. Thus, three major islet endocrine subtypes can be derived by acinar reprogramming. Ngn3 promotes establishment of a generic endocrine state in acinar cells at the onset of reprogramming in addition to promoting δ-specification. Mafa and Pdx1 suppress δ-specification in α- and β-cell formation. These studies identify a set of defined factors whose combinatorial actions reprogram acinar cells to distinct islet endocrine subtypes in vivo. induced beta cells samples at day 10 collected for the microarray
Project description:BACKGROUND: Pancreatic islet endocrine cell-supporting architectures, including islet encapsulating basement membranes (BMs), extracellular matrix (ECM), and possible cell clusters, are unclear. PROCEDURES: The architectures around islet cell clusters, including BMs, ECM, and pancreatic acinar-like cell clusters, were studied in the non-diabetic state and in the inflamed milieu of fulminant type 1 diabetes in humans. RESULT: Immunohistochemical and electron microscopy analyses demonstrated that human islet cell clusters and acinar-like cell clusters adhere directly to each other with desmosomal structures and coated-pit-like structures between the two cell clusters. The two cell-clusters are encapsulated by a continuous capsule composed of common BMs/ECM. The acinar-like cell clusters have vesicles containing regenerating (REG) I? protein. The vesicles containing REG I? protein are directly secreted to islet cells. In the inflamed milieu of fulminant type 1 diabetes, the acinar-like cell clusters over-expressed REG I? protein. Islet endocrine cells, including beta-cells and non-beta cells, which were packed with the acinar-like cell clusters, show self-replication with a markedly increased number of Ki67-positive cells. CONCLUSION: The acinar-like cell clusters touching islet endocrine cells are distinct, because the cell clusters are packed with pancreatic islet clusters and surrounded by common BMs/ECM. Furthermore, the acinar-like cell clusters express REG I? protein and secrete directly to neighboring islet endocrine cells in the non-diabetic state, and the cell clusters over-express REG I? in the inflamed milieu of fulminant type 1 diabetes with marked self-replication of islet cells.
Project description:Rodent acinar cells exhibit a remarkable plasticity as they can transdifferentiate to duct-, hepatocyte- and islet ?-like cells. We evaluated whether exocrine cells from adult human pancreas can similarly respond to proendocrine stimuli. Exocrine cells from adult human pancreas were transduced directly with lentiviruses expressing activated MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) and STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) and cultured as monolayers or as 3D structures. Expression of STAT3 and MAPK in human exocrine cells activated expression of the proendocrine factor neurogenin 3 in 50% to 80% of transduced exocrine cells. However, the number of insulin-positive cells increased only in the exocrine cells grown initially in suspension before 3D culture. Lineage tracing identified human acinar cells as the source of Ngn3- and insulin-expressing cells. Long-term engraftment into immunocompromised mice increased the efficiency of reprogramming to insulin-positive cells. Our data demonstrate that exocrine cells from human pancreas can be reprogrammed to transplantable insulin-producing cells that acquire functionality. Given the large number of exocrine cells in a donor pancreas, this approach presents a novel strategy to expand cell therapy in type 1 diabetes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Replacement of dysfunctional ?-cells in the islets of Langerhans by transdifferentiation of pancreatic acinar cells has been proposed as a regenerative therapy for diabetes. Adult acinar cells spontaneously revert to a multipotent state upon tissue dissociation in vitro and can be stimulated to redifferentiate into ?-cells. Despite accumulating evidence that contact-mediated signals are involved, the mechanisms regulating acinar-to-islet cell transdifferentiation remain poorly understood. RESULTS: In this study, we propose that the crosstalk between two contact-mediated signaling mechanisms, lateral inhibition and lateral stabilization, controls cell fate stability and transdifferentiation of pancreatic cells. Analysis of a mathematical model combining gene regulation with contact-mediated signaling reveals the multistability of acinar and islet cell fates. Inhibition of one or both modes of signaling results in transdifferentiation from the acinar to the islet cell fate, either by dedifferentiation to a multipotent state or by direct lineage switching. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a theoretical framework to understand the role of contact-mediated signaling in pancreatic cell fate control that may help to improve acinar-to-islet cell transdifferentiation strategies for ?-cell neogenesis.
Project description:Reprogramming of pancreatic exocrine cells into cells resembling beta cells may provide a strategy for treating diabetes. Here we show that transient administration of epidermal growth factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor to adult mice with chronic hyperglycemia efficiently stimulates the conversion of terminally differentiated acinar cells to beta-like cells. Newly generated beta-like cells are epigenetically reprogrammed, functional and glucose responsive, and they reinstate normal glycemic control for up to 248 d. The regenerative process depends on Stat3 signaling and requires a threshold number of Neurogenin 3 (Ngn3)-expressing acinar cells. In contrast to previous work demonstrating in vivo conversion of acinar cells to beta-like cells by viral delivery of exogenous transcription factors, our approach achieves acinar-to-beta-cell reprogramming through transient cytokine exposure rather than genetic modification.
Project description:Pluripotent embryonic cells become progressively lineage restricted during development in a process that culminates in the differentiation of stable organ-specific cell types that perform specialized functions. Terminally differentiated pancreatic acinar cells do not have the innate capacity to contribute to the endocrine ? cell lineage, which is destroyed in individuals with autoimmune diabetes. Some cell types can be reprogrammed using a single factor, whereas other cell types require continuous activity of transcriptional regulators to repress alternate cell fates. Thus, we hypothesized that a transcriptional network continuously maintains the pancreatic acinar cell fate. We found that postembryonic antagonism of Ptf1a, a master regulator of pancreatic development and acinar cell fate specification, induced the expression of endocrine genes including insulin in the exocrine compartment. Using a genetic lineage tracing approach, we show that the induced insulin+ cells are derived from acinar cells. Cellular reprogramming occurred under homeostatic conditions, suggesting that the pancreatic microenvironment is sufficient to promote endocrine differentiation. Thus, severe experimental manipulations may not be required to potentiate pancreatic transdifferentiation. These data indicate that targeted postembryonic disruption of the acinar cell fate can restore the developmental plasticity that is lost during development.
Project description:Reprogramming of pancreatic exocrine to insulin-producing cells by viral delivery of the genes encoding transcription factors neurogenin-3 (Ngn3), pancreas/duodenum homeobox protein 1 (Pdx1) and MafA is an efficient method for reversing diabetes in murine models. The variables that modulate reprogramming success are currently ill-defined.Here, we assess the impact of glycaemia on in vivo reprogramming in a mouse model of streptozotocin-induced beta cell ablation, using subsequent islet transplantation or insulin pellet implantation for creation of groups with differing levels of glycaemia before viral delivery of transcription factors.We observed that hyperglycaemia significantly impaired reprogramming of exocrine to insulin-producing cells in their quantity, differentiation status and function. With hyperglycaemia, the reprogramming of acinar towards beta cells was less complete. Moreover, inflammatory tissue changes within the exocrine pancreas including macrophage accumulation were found, which may represent the tissue's response to clear the pancreas from insufficiently reprogrammed cells.Our findings shed light on normoglycaemia as a prerequisite for optimal reprogramming success in a diabetes model, which might be important in other tissue engineering approaches and disease models, potentially facilitating their translational applications.
Project description:Reprogramming acinar cells into insulin producing cells using adenoviral (Ad)-mediated delivery of Pdx1, Ngn3 and MafA (PNM) is an innovative approach for the treatment of diabetes. Here, we aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in this process and in particular, the role of microRNAs. To this end, we performed a comparative study of acinar-to-β cell reprogramming efficiency in the rat acinar cell line AR42J and its subclone B13 after transduction with Ad-PNM. B13 cells were more efficiently reprogrammed than AR42J cells, which was demonstrated by a strong activation of β cell markers (Ins1, Ins2, IAPP, NeuroD1 and Pax4). miRNome panels were used to analyze differentially expressed miRNAs in acinar cells under four experimental conditions (i) non-transduced AR42J cells, (ii) non-transduced B13 cells, (iii) B13 cells transduced with Ad-GFP vectors and (iv) B13 cells transduced with Ad-PNM vectors. A total of 59 miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed between non-transduced AR42J and B13 cells. Specifically, the miR-200 family was completely repressed in B13 cells, suggesting that these cells exist in a less differentiated state than AR42J cells and as a consequence they present a greater plasticity. Adenoviral transduction per se induced dedifferentiation of acinar cells and 11 miRNAs were putatively involved in this process, whereas 8 miRNAs were found to be associated with PNM expression. Of note, Ad-PNM reprogrammed B13 cells presented the same levels of miR-137-3p, miR-135a-5p, miR-204-5p and miR-210-3p of those detected in islets, highlighting their role in the process. In conclusion, this study led to the identification of miRNAs that might be of compelling importance to improve acinar-to-β cell conversion for the future treatment of diabetes.