Diverse epithelial cell populations contribute to the regeneration of secretory units in injured salivary glands.
ABSTRACT: Salivary glands exert exocrine secretory function to provide saliva for lubrication and protection of the oral cavity. Its epithelium consists of several differentiated cell types, including acinar, ductal and myoepithelial cells, that are maintained in a lineage-restricted manner during homeostasis or after mild injuries. Glandular regeneration following a near complete loss of secretory cells, however, may involve cellular plasticity, although the mechanism and extent of such plasticity remain unclear. Here, by combining lineage-tracing experiments with a model of severe glandular injury in the mouse submandibular gland, we show that de novo formation of acini involves induction of cellular plasticity in multiple non-acinar cell populations. Fate-mapping analysis revealed that, although ductal stem cells marked by cytokeratin K14 and Axin2 undergo a multipotency switch, they do not make a significant contribution to acinar regeneration. Intriguingly, more than 80% of regenerated acini derive from differentiated cells, including myoepithelial and ductal cells, that appear to dedifferentiate to a progenitor-like state before re-differentiation into acinar cells. The potential of diverse cell populations serving as a reserve source for acini widens the therapeutic options for hyposalivation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Benzodiazepines (BZDs), the most commonly prescribed psychotropic drugs with anxiolytic action, may cause hyposalivation. It has been previously shown that BZDs can cause hypertrophy and decrease the acini cell number. In this study, we investigated the effects of BZDs and pilocarpine on rat parotid glands, specifically on acinar, ductal, and myoepithelial cells.<h4>Methods</h4>Ninety male Wistar rats were divided into nine groups. Control groups received a saline solution for 30 days (C30) and 60 days (C60), and pilocarpine (PILO) for 60 days. Experimental groups received lorazepam (L30) and midazolam (M30) for 30 days. Another group (LS60 or MS60) received lorazepam or midazolam for 30 days, respectively, and saline for additional 30 days. Finally, other groups (LP60 or MP60) received either lorazepam or midazolam for 30 days, respectively, and pilocarpine for additional 30 days. The expression of calponin in myoepithelial cells and the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in acinar and ductal cells were evaluated.<h4>Results</h4>Animals treated with lorazepam showed an increase in the number of positive staining cells for calponin as compared to control animals (p < 0.05). Midazolam administered with pilocarpine (MP60) induced an increase in the proliferation of acinar and ductal cells and a decrease in the positive staining cells for calponin as compared to midazolam administered with saline (MS60).<h4>Conclusion</h4>We found that myoepithelial cells might be more sensitive to the effects of BZD than acinar and ductal cells in rat parotid glands.
Project description:Understanding how epithelial progenitors within exocrine glands establish specific cell lineages and form complex functional secretory units is vital for organ regeneration. Here we identify the transcription factor Sox10 as essential for both the maintenance and differentiation of epithelial KIT+FGFR2b+ progenitors into secretory units, containing acinar, myoepithelial, and intercalated duct cells. The KIT/FGFR2b-Sox10 axis marks the earliest multi-potent and tissue-specific progenitors of exocrine glands. Genetic deletion of epithelial Sox10 leads to loss of secretory units, which reduces organ size and function, but the ductal tree is retained. Intriguingly, the remaining duct progenitors do not compensate for loss of Sox10 and lack plasticity to properly form secretory units. However, overexpression of Sox10 in these ductal progenitors enhances their plasticity toward KIT+ progenitors and induces differentiation into secretory units. Therefore, Sox10 controls plasticity and multi-potency of epithelial KIT+ cells in secretory organs, such as mammary, lacrimal, and salivary glands.
Project description:Lacrimal gland (LG) is an exocrine tubuloacinar gland that secretes the aqueous layer of the tear film. LG epithelium is composed of ductal, acinar, and myoepithelial cells (MECs) bordering the basal lamina and separating the epithelial layer from the extracellular matrix. Mature MECs have contractile ability and morphologically resemble smooth muscle cells; however, they exhibit features typical for epithelial cells, such as the presence of specific cytokeratin filaments. Increasing evidence supports the assertion that myoepithelial cells (MECs) play key roles in the lacrimal gland development, homeostasis, and stabilizing the normal structure and polarity of LG secretory acini. MECs take part in the formation of extracellular matrix gland and participate in signal exchange between epithelium and stroma. MECs have a high level of plasticity and are able to differentiate into several cell lineages. Here, we provide a review on some of the MEC characteristics and their role in LG morphogenesis, maintenance, and repair.
Project description:Cellular plasticity in adult organs is involved in both regeneration and carcinogenesis. WT mouse acinar cells rapidly regenerate following injury that mimics acute pancreatitis, a process characterized by transient reactivation of pathways involved in embryonic pancreatic development. In contrast, such injury promotes the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) precursor lesions in mice expressing a constitutively active form of the GTPase, Kras, in the exocrine pancreas. The molecular environment that mediates acinar regeneration versus the development of PDA precursor lesions is poorly understood. Here, we used genetically engineered mice to demonstrate that mutant Kras promotes acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) and pancreatic cancer precursor lesion formation by blocking acinar regeneration following acute pancreatitis. Our results indicate that beta-catenin is required for efficient acinar regeneration. In addition, canonical beta-catenin signaling, a pathway known to regulate embryonic acinar development, is activated following acute pancreatitis. This regeneration-associated activation of beta-catenin signaling was not observed during the initiation of Kras-induced acinar-to-ductal reprogramming. Furthermore, stabilized beta-catenin signaling antagonized the ability of Kras to reprogram acini into PDA preneoplastic precursors. Therefore, these results suggest that beta-catenin signaling is a critical determinant of acinar plasticity and that it is inhibited during Kras-induced fate decisions that specify PDA precursors, highlighting the importance of temporal regulation of embryonic signaling pathways in the development of neoplastic cell fates.
Project description:Salivary glands have an essential secretory function for maintaining oral and overall health. The epithelial compartment of the gland is composed of several highly specialized cell types that cooperate to secrete and deliver saliva to the oral cavity. The mouse submandibular gland has been used as a model for major salivary glands in human. The secretory complex in this model is composed of 2 secretory compartments, including acini and granular ducts connected by intercalated ducts. Contractile myoepithelial cells surround the secretory complex to facilitate salivary flow. Whether differentiated cells in the secretory complex are maintained by self-duplication or contribution from stem cells has remained an open question. Here, in analyzing the expression of basal cytokeratin (K) 14 in the secretory complex, we discovered a subset of K14(+) ductal cells in the intercalated ducts of the adult gland. These cells are distinct from the K14-expressing basal/myoepithelial cells, proliferate at a significantly higher rate than any other epithelial cell type in the gland, and reside in a spatially defined domain within the intercalated duct. Using inducible genetic lineage tracing, we show that K14(+) ductal cells represent a long-lived yet cycling population of stem cells that are established during development and contribute to the formation and maintenance of the granular ducts throughout life. Our data provide direct evidence for the existence of stem cells contributing to homeostasis of salivary glands, as well as new insights into glandular pathobiology.
Project description:The autoimmune exocrinopathy, Sjögren's syndrome (SS), is associated with secretory defects in patients, including individuals with mild lymphocytic infiltration and minimal glandular damage. The mechanism(s) underlying the secretory dysfunction is not known. We have used minor salivary gland biopsies from SS patients and healthy individuals to assess acinar cell function in morphologically intact glandular areas. We report that agonist-regulated intracellular Ca(2+) release, critically required for Ca(2+) entry and fluid secretion, is defective in acini from SS patients. Importantly, these acini displayed reduction in IP3R2 and IP3R3, but not AQP5 or STIM1. Similar decreases in IP3R and carbachol (CCh)-stimulated [Ca(2+)]i elevation were detected in acinar cells from lymphotoxin-alpha (LT?) transgenic (TG) mice, a model for (SS). Treatment of salivary glands from healthy individuals with LT ?, a cytokine linked to disease progression in SS and IL14? mice, reduced Ca(2+) signaling. Together, our findings reveal novel IP3R deficits in acinar cells that underlie secretory dysfunction in SS patients.
Project description:Acinar cells play an essential role in the secretory function of exocrine organs. Despite this requirement, how acinar cells are generated during organogenesis is unclear. Using the acini-ductal network of the developing human and murine salivary gland, we demonstrate an unexpected role for SOX2 and parasympathetic nerves in generating the acinar lineage that has broad implications for epithelial morphogenesis. Despite SOX2 being expressed by progenitors that give rise to both acinar and duct cells, genetic ablation of SOX2 results in a failure to establish acini but not ducts. Furthermore, we show that SOX2 targets acinar-specific genes and is essential for the survival of acinar but not ductal cells. Finally, we illustrate an unexpected and novel role for peripheral nerves in the creation of acini throughout development via regulation of SOX2. Thus, SOX2 is a master regulator of the acinar cell lineage essential to the establishment of a functional organ.
Project description:To create a model system that investigates mechanisms resulting in hyperplasia and hypertrophy of respiratory tract submucosal glands, we developed an in vitro three-dimensional (3D) system wherein normal human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells differentiated into glandular acini when grown on a basement membrane matrix. The differentiation of primary HBE cells into glandular acini was monitored temporally by light microscopy. Apoptosis-induced lumen formation was observed by immunofluorescence analysis. The acinar cells expressed and secreted MUC5B mucin (marker for glandular mucous cells) and lysozyme, lactoferrin, and zinc-?2-glycoprotein (markers for glandular serous cells) at Day 22. ?-Tubulin IV, a marker for ciliated cells, was not detected. Expression of mucous and serous cell markers in HBE glandular acini demonstrated that HBE cells grown on a basement membrane matrix differentiated into acini that exhibit molecular characteristics of respiratory tract glandular acinar cells. Inhibition studies with neutralizing antibodies resulted in a marked decrease in size of the spheroids at Day 7, demonstrating that laminin (a major component of the basement membrane matrix), the cell surface receptor integrin ?6, and the cell junction marker E-cadherin have functional roles in HBE acinar morphogenesis. No significant variability was detected in the average size of glandular acini formed by HBE cells from two normal individuals. These results demonstrated that this in vitro model system is reproducible, stable, and potentially useful for studies of glandular differentiation and hyperplasia.
Project description:The salivary gland of hard ticks is a highly innervated tissue where multiple intertwined axonal projections enter each individual acini. In the present study, we investigated the ultrastructural architecture of axonal projections within granular salivary gland type II and III acini of Ixodes ricinus female. Using immunogold labeling, we specifically examined the associations of SIFamide neuropeptide, SIFamide receptor (SIFa_R), neuropeptide pigment dispersing factor (PDF), and the invertebrate-specific D1-like dopamine receptor (InvD1L), with acinar cells. In both acini types, SIFamide-positive axons were found to be in direct contact with either basal epithelial cells or a single adlumenal myoepithelial cell in close proximity to the either the acinar duct or its valve, respectively. Accordingly, SIFa_R staining correlated with SIFamide-positive axons in both basal epithelial and myoepithelial cells. Immunoreactivity for both InvD1L and PDF (type II acini exclusively) revealed positive axons radiating along the acinar lumen. These axons were primarily enclosed by the adlumenal myoepithelial cell plasma membrane and interstitial projections of ablumenal epithelial cells. Our study has revealed the detailed ultrastructure of I. ricinus salivary glands, and provides a solid baseline for a comprehensive understanding of the cell-axon interactions and their functions in this essential tick organ.
Project description:The exocrine pancreas, consisting of ducts and acini, is the site of origin of pancreatitis and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Our understanding of the genesis and progression of human pancreatic diseases, including PDAC, is limited because of challenges in maintaining human acinar and ductal cells in culture. Here we report induction of human pluripotent stem cells toward pancreatic ductal and acinar organoids that recapitulate properties of the neonatal exocrine pancreas. Expression of the PDAC-associated oncogene GNAS<sup>R201C</sup> induces cystic growth more effectively in ductal than acinar organoids, whereas KRAS<sup>G12D</sup> is more effective in modeling cancer in vivo when expressed in acinar compared with ductal organoids. KRAS<sup>G12D</sup>, but not GNAS<sup>R201C</sup>, induces acinar-to-ductal metaplasia-like changes in culture and in vivo. We develop a renewable source of ductal and acinar organoids for modeling exocrine development and diseases and demonstrate lineage tropism and plasticity for oncogene action in the human pancreas.