Down-regulation of proliferation does not affect the secretory function of transformed β-cell lines regardless of their anatomical configuration

Christina Reers, Astrid C Hauge-Evans, Noel G Morgan, Abby Wilcox, Shanta J Persaud, Peter M Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Proliferation in transformed β-cell lines is high compared to primary islet cells and is accompanied by reduced insulin content and release. Our aim was to determine whether experimental reduction of proliferation restores the cells to a more authentic β-cell phenotype in terms of secretory function and to investigate the potential beneficial effect of their configuration as islet-like structures.

RESULTS: Mitosis inhibitor mitomycin c treatment neither altered the rate of proliferation nor improved the secretory responses of MIN6 monolayer cells. The proliferative rate of MIN6 cells was not affected by pseudoislet formation, but in contrast to monolayer cells, pseudoislets responded to 20 mM glucose with a 2.6-fold increase in insulin secretion. MMC reduced proliferation in MIN6 pseudoislets, but did not further improve their secretory responsiveness. Withdrawal of doxycycline resulted in complete growth-arrest in R7T1 cells, but monolayer and pseudoislet R7T1 cells were unresponsive to glucose and remained so upon growth-arrest although insulin content was increased in growth-arrested pseudoislets.

METHODS: MIN6 monolayer and pseudoislet cells were treated with MMC whereas growth-arrest was induced in R7T1 monolayer and pseudoislet cells by withdrawal of doxycycline. Proliferation rates were determined by immunocytochemical measurements of BrdU incorporation and insulin secretion was assessed by radioimmunoassay.

CONCLUSIONS: Secretory function of transformed β-cells is not influenced by experimental reduction of proliferation, but can be modulated by enhanced cell-cell contact within islet-like structures. These results have implications for future studies of islet cell redifferentiation and for the generation of islet-like material for transplantation therapy in Type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-8
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2011


  • Animals
  • Cell Growth Processes
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Down-Regulation
  • Doxycycline
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells
  • Mice
  • Mitomycin
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors

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