We have characterized expression of the ErbB receptor family and one of its ligands, heregulin, in an effort to identify molecules associated with pancreatic development and regeneration. In addition to studying expression during fetal pancreatic development, we have also studied expression during pancreatic regeneration in the interferon-gamma (IFNγ)-transgenic mouse, which exhibits significant duct cell proliferation and new islet formation. These studies demonstrate significant expression of the ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4 receptors, in addition to heregulin isoforms, in the developing murine fetal pancreas. We also report significant ductal expression of these proteins during IFNγ-mediated pancreatic regeneration. This striking expression was absent in 1-week-old neonates, but was clearly visible in pups by 5 weeks of age. These data therefore indicate that ErbB receptor and ligand expression decline by birth in both the IFNβ-transgenic and non- transgenic mice, and that expression resumes early in postnatal life in the IFNβ-transgenic mice. The expression of ErbB receptor family members at sites of islet development and regrowth suggests that these molecules might be relevant to these processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism