Co-localization of acinar markers and insulin in pancreatic cells of subjects with type 2 diabetes

Matilde Masini, Lorella Marselli, Eddy Himpe, Luisa Martino, Marco Bugliani, Mara Suleiman, Ugo Boggi, Franco Filipponi, Margherita Occhipinti, Luc Bouwens, Vincenzo De Tata, Piero Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To search for clues suggesting that beta cells may generate by transdifferentiation in humans, we assessed the presence of cells double positive for exocrine (amylase, carboxypeptidase A) and endocrine (insulin) markers in the pancreas of non-diabetic individuals (ND) and patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Samples from twelve ND and twelve matched T2D multiorgan donors were studied by electron microscopy, including amylase and insulin immunogold labeling; carboxypeptidase A immunofluorescence light microscopy assessment was also performed. In the pancreas from four T2D donors, cells containing both zymogen-like and insulin-like granules were observed, scattered in the exocrine compartment. Nature of granules was confirmed by immunogold labeling for amylase and insulin. Double positive cells ranged from 0.82 to 1.74 per mm2, corresponding to 0.26±0.045% of the counted exocrine cells. Intriguingly, cells of the innate immune systems (mast cells and/or macrophages) were adjacent to 33.3±13.6% of these hybrid cells. No cells showing co-localization of amylase and insulin were found in ND samples by electron microscopy. Similarly, cells containing both carboxypeptidase A and insulin were more frequently observed in the diabetic pancreata. These results demonstrate more abundant presence of cells containing both acinar markers and insulin in the pancreas of T2D subjects, which suggests possible conversion from one cellular type to the other and specific association with the diseased condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0179398
Pages (from-to)e0179398
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2017

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Co-localization of acinar markers and insulin in pancreatic cells of subjects with type 2 diabetes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this