Growth factor-dependent proliferation of the pancreatic β-cell line βTC-tet: An assay for β-cell mitogenic factors

Dalit Milo-landesman, Shimon Efrat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ability to expand normal pancreatic islet β cells in culture would significantly advance the prospects of cell therapy for diabetes. A number of growth factors can stimulate limited islet cell replication, however other factors may exist which are more effective β-cell-specific mitogens. The search for novel β-cell growth factors has been hampered by the lack of a β-cell-specific proliferation assay. We developed a simple and sensitive assay for β-cell growth factors based on a conditionally-transformed mouse β-cell line (βTC-tet). These cells express the SV40 T antigen (Tag) oncoprotein under control of the tetracycline (Tc) operon regulatory system. In the presence of Tc, Tag expression is tightly shut off and the cells undergo complete growth arrest. Here we show that the growth-arrested cells can proliferate in response to growth factors in the absence of Tag. Using this assay, a number of growth factors previously shown to be mitogenic to a mixed islet cell population were found to induce proliferation of pure β cells. We conclude that growth-arrested βTC-tet cells can be employed in a survey of factors from various sources for identifying novel factors with β-cell mitogenic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Cell proliferation
  • Growth factors
  • Mitogenicity
  • Tetracycline-regulated gene expression
  • β-cell lines

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