Korean Diabetes Journal 2005;29(6):507-516.
Published online November 1, 2005.
Characterization of Preadipocyte factor-1 (Pref-1) Expressing Pancreatic Cells.
Marie Rhee, Sun Hee Suh, Youn Joo Yang, Ji Won Kim, Sung Yoon Jeon, Oak Kee Hong, Seung Hyun Ko, Yoon Hee Choi, Bong Yun Cha, Ho Yong Son, Kun Ho Yoon
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea.
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Preadipocyte factor-1/Delta-like 1(Pref-1/Dlk1) is a type I membrane protein that has six epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats in its extracellular and a short cytoplasmic domain. It is widely expressed in embryonic tissues, whereas its expressions were limited in adult and postnatal stage. To characterize the Pref-1 expressing cells during pancreas development and regeneration after birth, we analyzed Pref-1 expression in embryonic and adult partial pancreatectomized rat pancreas, and primary cultured neonatal pig pancreatic cells. METHODS: Whole fetuses or pieces of rat pancreas were obtained at E20. 90% partial pancreatectomy (Px) and sham operation were done using 5 week-old Sprague-Dawley rats. Experimental animals were divided into 11 groups by time of killing after surgery; 0, 1, 3, 6 and 12 hours, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 14 days. All tissues were immunostained with Pref-1 and analysed by reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR. Porcine neonatal pancreas cell clusters (NPCCs) were prepared from neonatal pigs aged 1-2 days. Cells were harvested on day 0, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 after dispersion. All cells were immunostained with Pref-1 and other specific cell markers such as Pan-cytokeratin (Pan-CK), vimentin (VT) and islet hormones, and confirmed by Western blot, RT-PCR and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis. RESULTS: In the rat embryonic pancreas at E20, Pref-1 expression was restricted only in the small branching ductules. In adult rat pancreas, Pref-1 was not expressed at all. Whereas, Pref-1 transiently expressed in the small regenerating duct cells located in foci of regeneration in Px model, then completely disappeared at day 7. The Pref-1 mRNA measured by RT-PCR was peaked at day 3 after Px and then gradually disappeared. Pref-1 expression pattern was also reproduced in monolayer cultured NPCCs. In NPCCs, protein levels of Pref-1 were peaked at day 0 to day 4 then gradually disappeared until day 7 by western blot. Most of Pref-1 expressing cells were co-stained with cytokeratin. The proportion of Pref-1 expressing cells in dispersed NPCCs were counted and isolated by FACS at 3 days after culture were 25% and then decreased over time during 7 days culture period. CONCLUSIONS: Pref-1 expression was regained in adult pancreatic cells during regeneration in vivo and in vitro and Pref-1 might be a useful marker for the pancreatic protodifferentiated cells.
Key Words: Pref-1, Pancreatic duct cell, Cytokeratin, Vimentin, Protodifferentiation, Panc- reatic precursor cell


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