Human Pancreatic Acinar Cell Plasticity.

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Rodent pancreatic acinar cells were shown to retain inherent plastic capacities and capable to reprogram towards various cell types under specific physiological conditions. Recently, Mills et al elegantly observed a common regenerative process across various murine epithelial tissues termed “paligenosis”, i.e. differentiated cells retaining potential to dedifferentiate, proliferate and redifferentiate to restore damaged tissue. pancreas, showed to retain this paligenotic potential crucial for tissue regeneration upon caerulein- induced pancreatitis. However, persistent inflammation and/or mutagenesis can lead to neoplastic transformation of acinar cells stressing the need to molecularly define and control transitional phases. Understanding how the process of dedifferentiation is initiated, proliferation is regulated and redifferentiation is governed could allow regeneration of the (inflamed) pancreatic parenchyma and concomitantly minimizing the risk for pancreatic cancer development. Some efforts have been undertaken in murine models, however translation to human remains poor due to lack of human acinar cell lines, organoids or primary exocrine tissue. Setting up a collaboration with the islet isolation units in Brussels, Milan and Oxford allowed us to investigate acinar plasticity on human primary exocrine cells in vitro.
Date of Award28 Sep 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
SupervisorLouis Arne (Jury), Patrick Jacquemin (Jury), Claudia Spits (Jury), Harry Heimberg (Jury), Karen Segers (Jury) & Luc Bouwens (Promotor)

Cite this

'