Altered Phenotype of ?-Cells and Other Pancreatic Cell Lineages in Patients With Diffuse Congenital Hyperinsulinism in Infancy Caused by Mutations in the ATP-Sensitive K-Channel.
ABSTRACT: Diffuse congenital hyperinsulinism in infancy (CHI-D) arises from mutations inactivating the KATP channel; however, the phenotype is difficult to explain from electrophysiology alone. Here we studied wider abnormalities in the ?-cell and other pancreatic lineages. Islets were disorganized in CHI-D compared with controls. PAX4 and ARX expression was decreased. A tendency toward increased NKX2.2 expression was consistent with its detection in two-thirds of CHI-D ?-cell nuclei, similar to the fetal pancreas, and implied immature ?-cell function. CHI-D ?-cells also comprised 10% of cells displaying nucleomegaly. In CHI-D, increased proliferation was most elevated in duct (5- to 11-fold) and acinar (7- to 47-fold) lineages. Increased ?-cell proliferation observed in some cases was offset by an increase in apoptosis; this is in keeping with no difference in INSULIN expression or surface area stained for insulin between CHI-D and control pancreas. However, nuclear localization of CDK6 and P27 was markedly enhanced in CHI-D ?-cells compared with cytoplasmic localization in control cells. These combined data support normal ?-cell mass in CHI-D, but with G1/S molecules positioned in favor of cell cycle progression. New molecular abnormalities in ?-cells and marked proliferative increases in other pancreatic lineages indicate CHI-D is not solely a ?-cell disorder.
Project description:The pancreatic islet is necessary for maintaining glucose homeostasis. Within the pancreatic islet, the homeodomain protein Nkx2.2 is essential for the differentiation of all insulin-producing beta cells and a subset of glucagon-producing alpha cells (1). Mice lacking Nkx2.2 have relatively normal sized islets, but a large number of cells within the mutant islet fail to produce any of the four major islet hormones. In this study we demonstrate that Nkx2.2 mutant endocrine cells have been replaced by cells that produce ghrelin, an appetite-promoting peptide predominantly found in the stomach. Intriguingly, normal mouse pancreas also contains a small population of ghrelin-producing cells, defining a new islet "epsilon" cell population. The expansion of ghrelin-producing cells at the expense of beta cells may be a general phenomenon, because we demonstrate that Pax4 mutant mice display a similar phenotype. We propose that insulin and ghrelin cells share a common progenitor and that Nkx2.2 and Pax4 are required to specify or maintain differentiation of the beta cell fate. This finding also suggests that there is a genetic component underlying the balance between insulin and ghrelin in regulating glucose metabolism.
Project description:Neurogenin3(+) (Ngn3(+)) progenitor cells in the developing pancreas give rise to five endocrine cell types secreting insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, pancreatic polypeptide and ghrelin. Gastrin is a hormone produced primarily by G-cells in the stomach, where it functions to stimulate acid secretion by gastric parietal cells. Gastrin is expressed in the embryonic pancreas and is common in islet cell tumors, but the lineage and regulators of pancreatic gastrin(+) cells are not known. We report that gastrin is abundantly expressed in the embryonic pancreas and disappears soon after birth. Some gastrin(+) cells in the developing pancreas co-express glucagon, ghrelin or pancreatic polypeptide, but many gastrin(+) cells do not express any other islet hormone. Pancreatic gastrin(+) cells express the transcription factors Nkx6.1, Nkx2.2 and low levels of Pdx1, and derive from Ngn3(+) endocrine progenitor cells as shown by genetic lineage tracing. Using mice deficient for key transcription factors we show that gastrin expression depends on Ngn3, Nkx2.2, NeuroD1 and Arx, but not Pax4 or Pax6. Finally, gastrin expression is induced upon differentiation of human embryonic stem cells to pancreatic endocrine cells expressing insulin. Thus, gastrin(+) cells are a distinct endocrine cell type in the pancreas and an alternative fate of Ngn3+ cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Pancreatic duodenal homeobox-1 (Pdx-1) or Pdx-1-VP16 gene transfer has been shown to induce in vitro rat liver-stem WB cell conversion into pancreatic endocrine precursor cells. High glucose conditions were necessary for further differentiation into functional insulin-producing cells. Pdx-1 has the ability to permeate different cell types due to an inherent protein transduction domain (PTD). In this study, we evaluated liver-to-pancreas conversion of WB cells following Pdx-1 or Pdx-1-VP16 protein transduction. FINDINGS: WB cells were grown in high glucose medium containing Pdx-1 or Pdx-1-VP16 recombinant proteins for two weeks. beta-like cell commitment was analysed by RT-PCR of pancreatic endocrine genes. We found that WB cells in high glucose culture spontaneously express pancreatic endocrine genes (Pdx-1, Ngn3, Nkx2.2, Kir6.2). Their further differentiation into beta-like cells expressing genes related to endocrine pancreas development (Ngn3, NeuroD, Pax4, Nkx2.2, Nkx6.1, Pdx-1) and beta-cell function (Glut-2, Kir6.2, insulin) was achieved only in the presence of Pdx-1(-VP16) protein. CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that Pdx-1(-VP16) protein transduction is instrumental for in vitro liver-to-pancreas conversion and is an alternative to gene therapy for beta-cell engineering for diabetes cell therapy.
Project description:The in vitro differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) offers a model system to explore human development. Humans with mutations in the transcription factor Aristaless Related Homeobox (ARX) often suffer from the syndrome X-linked lissencephaly with ambiguous genitalia (XLAG), affecting many cell types including those of the pancreas. Indeed, XLAG pancreatic islets lack glucagon and pancreatic polypeptide-positive cells but retain somatostatin, insulin, and ghrelin-positive cells. To further examine the role of ARX in human pancreatic endocrine development, we utilized genomic editing in hESCs to generate deletions in ARX. ARX knockout hESCs retained pancreatic differentiation capacity and ARX knockout endocrine cells were biased toward somatostatin-positive cells (94% of endocrine cells) with reduced pancreatic polypeptide (rarely detected), glucagon (90% reduced) and insulin-positive (65% reduced) lineages. ARX knockout somatostatin-positive cells shared expression patterns with human fetal and adult ?-cells. Differentiated ARX knockout cells upregulated PAX4, NKX2.2, ISL1, HHEX, PCSK1, PCSK2 expression while downregulating PAX6 and IRX2. Re-expression of ARX in ARX knockout pancreatic progenitors reduced HHEX and increased PAX6 and insulin expression following differentiation. Taken together these data suggest that ARX plays a key role in pancreatic endocrine fate specification of pancreatic polypeptide, somatostatin, glucagon and insulin positive cells from hESCs.
Project description:Nkx2.2 and Arx are essential pancreatic transcription factors. Nkx2.2 is necessary for the appropriate specification of the islet alpha, beta, PP and epsilon cell lineages, whereas Arx is required to form the correct ratio of alpha, beta, delta and PP cells. To begin to understand the cooperative functions of Nkx2.2 and Arx in the development of endocrine cell lineages, we generated progenitor cell-specific deletions of Arx on the Nkx2.2 null background. The analysis of these mutants demonstrates that expansion of the ghrelin cell population in the Nkx2.2 null pancreas is not dependent on Arx; however, Arx is necessary for the upregulation of ghrelin mRNA levels in Nkx2.2 mutant epsilon cells. Alternatively, in the absence of Arx, delta cell numbers are increased and Nkx2.2 becomes essential for the repression of somatostatin gene expression. Interestingly, the dysregulation of ghrelin and somatostatin expression in the Nkx2.2/Arx compound mutant (Nkx2.2(null);Arx(?panc)) results in the appearance of ghrelin+/somatostatin+ co-expressing cells. These compound mutants also revealed a genetic interaction between Nkx2.2 and Arx in the regulation of the PP cell lineage; the PP cell population is reduced when Nkx2.2 is deleted but is restored back to wildtype numbers in the Nkx2.2(null);Arx(?panc) mutant. Moreover, conditional deletion of Arx in specific pancreatic cell populations established that the functions of Arx are necessary in the Neurog3+ endocrine progenitors. Together, these experiments identify novel genetic interactions between Nkx2.2 and Arx within the endocrine progenitor cells that ensure the correct specification and regulation of endocrine hormone-producing cells.
Project description:Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) causes dysregulated insulin secretion which can lead to life-threatening hypoglycaemia if not effectively managed. CHI can be sub-classified into three distinct groups: diffuse, focal and mosaic pancreatic disease. Whilst the underlying causes of diffuse and focal disease have been widely characterised, the genetic basis of mosaic pancreatic disease is not known. To gain new insights into the underlying disease processes of mosaic-CHI we studied the islet tissue histopathology derived from limited surgical resection from the tail of the pancreas in a patient with CHI. The underlying genetic aetiology was investigated using a combination of high depth next-generation sequencing, microsatellite analysis and p57kip2 immunostaining. Histopathology of the pancreatic tissue confirmed the presence of a defined area associated with marked islet hypertrophy and a cytoarchitecture distinct from focal CHI but compatible with mosaic CHI localised to a discrete region within the pancreas. Analysis of DNA extracted from the lesion identified a de novo mosaic ABCC8 mutation and mosaic paternal uniparental disomy which were not present in leukocyte DNA or the surrounding unaffected pancreatic tissue. This study provides the first description of two independent disease-causing somatic genetic events occurring within the pancreas of an individual with localised mosaic CHI. Our findings increase knowledge of the genetic causes of islet disease and provide further insights into the underlying developmental changes associated with ?-cell expansion in CHI.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The homeodomain containing transcription factor Nkx2.2 is essential for the differentiation of pancreatic endocrine cells. Deletion of Nkx2.2 in mice leads to misspecification of islet cell types; insulin-expressing beta cells and glucagon-expressing alpha cells are replaced by ghrelin-expressing cells. Additional studies have suggested that Nkx2.2 functions both as a transcriptional repressor and activator to regulate islet cell formation and function. To identify genes that are potentially regulated by Nkx2.2 during the major wave of endocrine and exocrine cell differentiation, we assessed gene expression changes that occur in the absence of Nkx2.2 at the onset of the secondary transition in the developing pancreas. RESULTS:Microarray analysis identified 80 genes that were differentially expressed in e12.5 and/or e13.5 Nkx2.2-/- embryos. Some of these genes encode transcription factors that have been previously identified in the pancreas, clarifying the position of Nkx2.2 within the islet transcriptional regulatory pathway. We also identified signaling factors and transmembrane proteins that function downstream of Nkx2.2, including several that have not previously been described in the pancreas. Interestingly, a number of known exocrine genes are also misexpressed in the Nkx2.2-/- pancreas. CONCLUSIONS:Expression profiling of Nkx2.2-/- mice during embryogenesis has allowed us to identify known and novel pancreatic genes that function downstream of Nkx2.2 to regulate pancreas development. Several of the newly identified signaling factors and transmembrane proteins may function to influence islet cell fate decisions. These studies have also revealed a novel function for Nkx2.2 in maintaining appropriate exocrine gene expression. Most importantly, Nkx2.2 appears to function within a complex regulatory loop with Ngn3 at a key endocrine differentiation step.
Project description:Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) is caused by unregulated insulin release and leads to hyperinsulinaemic-hypoglycaemia (HH). Glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), peptide YY (PYY) and the enzyme; dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) all regulate appetite and glucose homeostasis. These proteins have been identified as possible contributors to HH but the mechanism remains poorly understood. We aimed to look at the expression pattern of pancreatic DPP-4 in children with focal and diffuse CHI (FCHI and DCHI, respectively). Using immunohistochemistry; we determined DPP-4 expression patterns in the pancreas of CHI patients. DPP-4 was found to be expressed in the pancreatic ?, ? and ?-cells in and around the focal area. However, it was predominantly co-localised with ?-cells in the paediatric tissue samples. Additionally, proliferating ?-cells expressed DPP-4 in DCHI, which was absent in the FCHI pancreas. Insulin was found to be present in the exocrine acini and duct cells of the DCHI pancreas suggestive of exocrine to endocrine transdifferentiation. Furthermore, 6 medically-unresponsive DCHI pancreatic samples showed an up-regulation of total pancreatic DPP-4 expression. In conclusion; the expression studies have shown DPP-4 to be altered in HH, however, further work is required to understand the underlying role for this enzyme.
Project description:Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) is a cause of persistent hypoglycemia. Histologically, there are two subgroups, diffuse and focal. Focal CHI is a consequence of two independent events, inheritance of a paternal mutation in ABCC8/KCNJ11 and paternal uniparental isodisomy of chromosome 11p15 within the embryonic pancreas, leading to an imbalance in the expression of imprinted genes. The probability of both events occurring within siblings is rare.We describe the first familial form of focal CHI in two siblings.The proband presented with medically unresponsive CHI. He underwent pancreatic venous sampling and Fluorine-18-L-dihydroxyphenylalanine positron emission tomography scan, which localized a 5-mm focal lesion in the isthmus of the pancreas. The sibling presented 8 yr later also with medically unresponsive CHI. An Fluorine-18-L-dihydroxyphenylalanine positron emission-computerised tomography scan showed a 7-mm focal lesion in the posterior section of the head of the pancreas. Both siblings were found to be heterozygous for two paternally inherited ABCC8 mutations, A355T and R1494W. Surgical removal of the focal lesions in both siblings cured the Hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia.This is the first report of focal CHI occurring in siblings. Genetic counseling for families of patients with focal CHI should be recommended, despite the rare risk of recurrence of this disease.
Project description:Nkx2.2 is a homeodomain-containing transcriptional regulator necessary for the appropriate differentiation of ventral neuronal populations in the spinal cord and hindbrain, and endocrine cell populations in the pancreas and intestine. In each tissue, Nkx2.2 inactivation leads to reciprocal cell fate alterations. To confirm the cell fate changes are due to respecification of Nkx2.2-expressing progenitors and to provide a novel tool for lineage tracing in the pancreas and CNS, we generated an Nkx2.2:Cre mouse line by knocking in a Cre-EGFP cassette into the Nkx2.2 genomic locus and inactivating endogenous Nkx2.2. The R26R-CAG-LSL-tdTomato reporter was used to monitor the specificity and efficiency of Nkx2.2:Cre activity; the tomato reporter faithfully recapitulated endogenous Nkx2.2 expression and could be detected as early as embryonic day (e) 9.25 in the developing CNS and was initiated shortly thereafter at e9.5 in the pancreas. Lineage analyses in the CNS confirmed the cell populations thought to be derived from Nkx2.2-expressing progenitor domains. Furthermore, lineage studies verified Nkx2.2 expression in the earliest pancreatic progenitors that give rise to all cell types of the pancreas; however they also revealed more robust Cre activity in the dorsal versus ventral pancreas. Thus, the Nkx2.2:Cre line provides a novel tool for gene manipulations in the CNS and pancreas.