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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pancreatic-specific inactivation of IGF-I gene causes enlarged pancreatic islets and significant resistance to diabetes.

The dogma that IGF-I stimulates pancreatic islet growth has been challenged by combinational targeting of IGF or IGF-IR (IGF receptor) genes as well as beta-cell-specific IGF-IR gene deficiency, which caused no defect in islet cell growth. To assess the physiological role of locally produced IGF-I, we have developed pancreatic-specific IGF-I gene deficiency (PID) by crossing Pdx1-Cre and IGF-I/loxP mice. PID mice are normal except for decreased blood glucose level and a 2.3-fold enlarged islet cell mass. When challenged with low doses of streptozotocin, control mice developed hyperglycemia after 6 days that was maintained at high levels for at least 2 months. In contrast, PID mice only exhibited marginal hyperglycemia after 12 days, maintained throughout the experiment. Fifteen days after streptozotocin, PID mice demonstrated significantly higher levels of insulin production. Furthermore, streptozotocin-induced beta-cell apoptosis (transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling [TUNEL] assay) was significantly prevented in PID mice. Finally, PID mice exhibited a delayed onset of type 2 diabetes induced by a high-fat diet, accompanied by super enlarged pancreatic islets, increased insulin mRNA levels, and preserved sensitivity to insulin. Our results suggest that locally produced IGF-I within the pancreas inhibits islet cell growth; its deficiency provides a protective environment to the beta-cells and potential in combating diabetes.[1]


  1. Pancreatic-specific inactivation of IGF-I gene causes enlarged pancreatic islets and significant resistance to diabetes. Lu, Y., Herrera, P.L., Guo, Y., Sun, D., Tang, Z., LeRoith, D., Liu, J.L. Diabetes (2004) [Pubmed]
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