Estrogen Receptor α Regulates Beta Cell Formation During Pancreas Development and Following Injury

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Abstract

Identifying pathways for beta cell generation is essential for cell therapy in diabetes. Here we investigate the potential of 17β-estradiol (E2) and estrogen receptor (ER) signaling for stimulating beta cell generation during embryonic development and in severely injured adult pancreas. Estradiol concentration, ER activity and number of ERα transcripts were enhanced in pancreas injured by partial duct ligation (PDL), along with nuclear localization of ERα in beta cells. PDL-induced proliferation of beta cells depended on aromatase activity. The activation of Neurogenin3 (Ngn3) gene expression and beta cell growth in PDL pancreas were impaired when ERα was turned off chemically or genetically (ERα(-/-)), while in situ delivery of E2 promoted beta cell formation. In embryonic pancreas, beta cell replication, number of Ngn3(+) progenitor cells and expression of key transcription factors of the endocrine lineage were decreased by ERα inactivation. The present study reveals that E2 and ERα signaling can drive beta cell replication and formation in mouse pancreas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3218-3228
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes
Volume64
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • beta cell formation
  • Pancreas development
  • estrogen receptor

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