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Herbach, Nadja; Bergmayr, Martina; Göke, Burkhard; Wolf, Eckhard; Wanke, Ruediger (2011): Postnatal development of numbers and mean sizes of pancreatic islets and beta-cells in healthy mice and GIPR(dn) transgenic diabetic mice.
In: PloS one 6(7), e22814




The aim of this study was to examine postnatal islet and beta-cell expansion in healthy female control mice and its disturbances in diabetic GIPR(dn) transgenic mice, which exhibit an early reduction of beta-cell mass. Pancreata of female control and GIPR(dn) transgenic mice, aged 10, 45, 90 and 180 days were examined, using state-of-the-art quantitative-stereological methods. Total islet and beta-cell volumes, as well as their absolute numbers increased significantly until 90 days in control mice, and remained stable thereafter. The mean islet volumes of controls also increased slightly but significantly between 10 and 45 days of age, and then remained stable until 180 days. The total volume of isolated beta-cells, an indicator of islet neogenesis, and the number of proliferating (BrdU-positive) islet cells were highest in 10-day-old controls and declined significantly between 10 and 45 days. In GIPR(dn) transgenic mice, the numbers of islets and beta-cells were significantly reduced from 10 days of age onwards vs. controls, and no postnatal expansion of total islet and beta-cell volumes occurred due to a reduction in islet neogenesis whereas early islet-cell proliferation and apoptosis were unchanged as compared to control mice. Insulin secretion in response to pharmacological doses of GIP was preserved in GIPR(dn) transgenic mice, and serum insulin to pancreatic insulin content in response to GLP-1 and arginine was significantly higher in GIPR(dn) transgenic mice vs. controls. We could show that the increase in islet number is mainly responsible for expansion of islet and beta-cell mass in healthy control mice. GIPR(dn) transgenic mice show a disturbed expansion of the endocrine pancreas, due to perturbed islet neogenesis