Fukaishi, Takahiro Gunma University|Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Nakagawa, Yuko Gunma University
Fukunaka, Ayako Gunma University
Sato, Takashi Gunma University
Hara, Akemi Juntendo University|Saitama Medical University
Nakao, Keiko Saitama Medical University
Saito, Michiko Nara Institute of Science and Technology|Kyoto Pharmaceutical University
Kohno, Kenji Nara Institute of Science and Technology
Miyatsuka, Takeshi Juntendo University
Matsuoka, Taka-aki Wakayama Medical University
Yamada, Tetsuya Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Watada, Hirotaka Juntendo University
Fujitani, Yoshio Gunma University
Beta cell heterogeneity
Single-cell RNA sequence
Pancreatic polypeptide (PP) cells, which secrete PP (encoded by the Ppy gene), are a minor population of pancreatic endocrine cells. Although it has been reported that the loss of beta cell identity might be associated with beta-to-PP cell-fate conversion, at present, little is known regarding the characteristics of Ppy-lineage cells.
We used Ppy-Cre driver mice and a PP-specific monoclonal antibody to investigate the association between Ppy-lineage cells and beta cells. The molecular profiles of endocrine cells were investigated by single-cell transcriptome analysis and the glucose responsiveness of beta cells was assessed by Ca2+ imaging. Diabetic conditions were experimentally induced in mice by either streptozotocin or diphtheria toxin.
Ppy-lineage cells were found to contribute to the four major types of endocrine cells, including beta cells. Ppy-lineage beta cells are a minor subpopulation, accounting for 12–15% of total beta cells, and are mostly (81.2%) localised at the islet periphery. Unbiased single-cell analysis with a Ppy-lineage tracer demonstrated that beta cells are composed of seven clusters, which are categorised into two groups (i.e. Ppy-lineage and non-Ppy-lineage beta cells). These subpopulations of beta cells demonstrated distinct characteristics regarding their functionality and gene expression profiles. Ppy-lineage beta cells had a reduced glucose-stimulated Ca2+ signalling response and were increased in number in experimental diabetes models.
Our results indicate that an unexpected degree of beta cell heterogeneity is defined by Ppy gene activation, providing valuable insight into the homeostatic regulation of pancreatic islets and future therapeutic strategies against diabetes.
Springer Nature|European Association for the Study of Diabetes
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