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Correction of Hyperglycemia in Diabetic Mice Transplanted With Reversibly Immortalized Pancreatic β Cells Controlled by the tet-on Regulatory System

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Pancreatic β cell lines may offer an abundant source of cells for β-cell replacement in type I diabetes. Using regulatory elements of the bacterial tetracycline (tet) operon for conditional expression of SV40 T antigen oncoprotein in transgenic mouse β cells, we have shown that reversible immortalization is an efficient approach for regulated β-cell expansion, accompanied by enhanced cell differentiation upon growth arrest. The original system employed the tet-off approach, in which the cells proliferate in the absence of tet ligands and undergo growth arrest in their presence. The disadvantage of this system is the need for continuous treatment with the ligand in vivo for maintaining growth arrest. Here we utilized the tet-on regulatory system to generate β cell lines in which proliferation is regulated in reverse: these cells divide in the presence of tet ligands, and undergo growth arrest in their absence, as judged by [3H]thymidine and BrdU incorporation assays. These cell lines were derived from insulinomas, which heritably developed in transgenic mice continuously treated with the tet derivative doxycycline (dox). The cells produce and secrete high amounts of insulin, and can restore and maintain euglycemia in syngeneic streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice in the absence of dox. Such a system is more suitable for transplantation, compared with cells regulated by the tet-off approach, because ligand treatment is limited to cell expansion in culture and is not required for long-term maintenance of growth arrest in vivo.

Keywords: Key words: β cell lines; Diabetes; Growth arrest; Insulin secretion; SV40 T antigen

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978 Israel 2: †Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Ave., Bronx, NY 10461 3: ‡Institute for Molecular Pathology, Dr. Bohr-Gasse 7, A-1030, Vienna, Austria

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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