Growth hormone is a growth factor for the differentiated pancreatic beta-cell

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The regulation of the growth of the pancreatic beta-cell is poorly understood. There are previous indications of a role of GH in the growth and insulin production of the pancreatic islets. In the present study we present evidence for a direct long-term effect of GH on proliferation and insulin biosynthesis of pancreatic beta-cells in monolayer culture. In culture medium RPMI 1640 supplemented with 2% normal human serum islets or dissociated islet cells from newborn rats maintained their insulin-producing capacity. When supplemented with 1-1000 ng/ml pituitary or recombinant human GH the islet cells attached, spread out, and proliferated into monolayers mainly consisting of insulin-containing cells. The number of beta-cells in S-phase was increased from 0.9-6.5% as determined by immunochemical staining of bromodeoxyuridine incorporated into insulin-positive cells. The increase in cell number was accompanied with a continuous increase in insulin release to the culture medium reaching a 10- 20-fold increase after 2-3 months with a half-maximal effect at about 10 ng/ml human GH. The biosynthesis of (pro)insulin was markedly increased with a normal rate of conversion of proinsulin to insulin. It is concluded that GH is a potent growth factor for the differentiated pancreatic beta-cell.
TidsskriftMolecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.)
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)165-73
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - jan. 1989

ID: 47974458