Paediatrics Publications

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Laboratory Investigation





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Integrin receptors are responsible for integrating extracellular matrix signals inside the cell. The most prominent integrin receptor, β1 integrin, has a role in cell function, survival and differentiation. Recently, we demonstrated a profound in vivo role of β1 integrin expression in the pancreas on glucose homeostasis and islet function. Here, we extend these results by examining the role of β1 integrin in exocrine pancreatic structure and function. Adult C57Bl/6 mice hemizygous for a collagen type Iα2 (Col1a2) promoter-controlled tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase gene and homozygous for loxP-β1 integrin were injected with tamoxifen or corn oil to generate mice deleted or not for β1 integrin. Pancreata derived from these male mice were analyzed by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, western blot and immunofluorescence. Our results showed that β1 integrin-deficient mice displayed a significant decrease in pancreas weight with a significant reduction of amylase, regenerating islet-derived protein II and carboxypeptidase-A expression (P<0.05-0.01). Compared with control pancreata, β1 integrin-deficient pancreata showed reduced mRNA expression of extracellular matrix (collagen type Iα2, fibronectin and laminin) genes (P<0.05), detached acini clusters and lost focal adhesion structure. Moreover, β1 integrin-deficient pancreatic acinar cells displayed decreased proliferation (P<0.05) and increased apoptosis (P<0.001). Apoptosis was reduced to that of controls when isolated exocrine clusters were cultured in media supplemented with extracellular matrix proteins. Taken together, these results implicate β1 integrin as an essential component for maintaining exocrine pancreatic structure and function. © 2013 USCAP, Inc All rights reserved.