The upregulation of a limited number of growth factors in our interferon-γ transgenic model for regeneration within the pancreas lead us to propose that these factors are important during pancreatic regeneration. In this study, we have assessed the influence of two growth factors within the pancreas, epidermal growth factor (EGF) and keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), by ectopically expressing these proteins under the control of the human insulin promoter in transgenic mice. This β-cell-targeted expression of either EGF or KGF resulted in significant morphological changes, including cellular proliferation and disorganized islet growth. Intercrossing the individual Ins-EGF and Ins-KGF transgenic mice resulted in more profound changes in pancreatic morphology including proliferation of pancreatic cells and extensive intra-islet fibrosis. Insulin-producing β-cells were found in some of the ducts of older Ins-EGF and Ins-EGF x KGF transgenic mice, and amylase-producing cells were observed within the islet structures of the double transgenic mice. These data suggest that both EGF and KGF are capable of affecting pancreatic differentiation and growth, and that co-expression of these molecules in islets has a more substantial impact on the pancreas than does expression of either growth factor alone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism