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Conversion of human pancreatic acinar cells toward a ductal-mesenchymal phenotype and the role of transforming growth factor β and activin signaling.

Pancreas (2014-07-09)
Evelien De Waele, Elke Wauters, Zhidong Ling, Luc Bouwens
ABSTRACT

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition may interfere with the differentiation of cultured pancreatic acinar cells toward endocrine cells. Therefore, it will be important to investigate into detail the reprogramming of human pancreatic acinar cells toward a mesenchymal phenotype: the association with acinoductal transdifferentiation, the influence of cell adhesion, and the regulation behind this process. Human exocrine cells, isolated from donor pancreata, were cultured in suspension or as monolayers. Non-genetic lineage tracing, using labeled ulex europaeus agglutinin 1 lectin, was performed, and the role of the transforming growth factor (TGF-β) superfamily was investigated. After 7 days in monolayer culture, the human acinar cells coexpressed the mesenchymal marker vimentin and the ductal marker Sox9. However, when the human exocrine cells were cultured in suspension, epithelial-mesenchymal transition was not observed. The spontaneous transition of the human acinar cells toward a ductal and mesenchymal phenotype was decreased by inhibition of the TGF-β and activin signaling pathways. The human acinar cells spontaneously undergo TGF-β- regulated reprogramming in the monolayer culture. These observations are helpful to develop culture methods for the in vitro reprogramming of pancreatic exocrine to endocrine cells. They are also of potential interest for studies on exocrine acinar cells in the development of pancreatic cancer.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Streptomycin sulfate salt, powder
Sigma-Aldrich
Streptomycin sulfate salt, powder, BioXtra, suitable for mouse embryo cell culture
Sigma-Aldrich
Streptomycin sulfate salt, powder, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture
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Supelco
Streptomycin solution, ~1 mg/mL in 1 mM EDTA, analytical standard