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Open Access Pdx1- and Ngn3-Cre-Mediated PLAG1 Expression in the Pancreas Leads to Endocrine Hormone Imbalances That Affect Glucose Metabolism

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Pleomorphic adenoma gene-like 1 (PLAGL1) has been linked to transient neonatal diabetes mellitus. Here, we investigated the role of the related pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) in glucose homeostasis. PLAG1 transgenic mice in which expression of the PLAG1 transgene can be targeted to different organs by Cre-mediated modulation were crossed with Pdx1-Cre or Ngn3-Cre mice, resulting in double transgenic P1-Pdx1Cre or P1-Ngn3Cre mice, respectively. P1-Pdx1Cre and P1-Ngn3Cre mice developed hyperplasia of pancreatic islets due to increased β- and δ- but not α-cell proliferation. In young P1-Pdx1Cre mice (less than 15 weeks) there was a balanced increase in the pancreatic content of insulin and somatostatin, which was associated with normoglycemia. In older P1-Pdx1Cre mice the pancreatic somatostatin content far exceeded that of insulin, leading to the progressive development of severe hypoglycemia beyond 30 weeks. In contrast, in older P1-Ngn3Cre mice the relative increase of the pancreatic insulin content exceeded that of somatostatin and these mice remained normoglycemic. In conclusion, forced expression of PLAG1 under the control of the Pdx1 or Ngn3 promoter in murine pancreas induces different degrees of endocrine hormone imbalances within the pancreas, which is associated with hypoglycemia in P1-Pdx1Cre mice but not P1-Ngn3Cre mice. These results suggest that once stem cell-derived islet transplantations become possible, the appropriate balance between different hormone-producing cells will need to be preserved to prevent deregulated glucose metabolism.

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Keywords: Hyperinsulinemia; Hypoglycemia; Islet hyperplasia; pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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