The SDF-1α/CXCR4 ligand/chemokine receptor pair is required for appropriate patterning during ontogeny and stimulates the growth and differentiation of critical cell types. Here, we demonstrate SDF-1α and CXCR4 expression in fetal pancreas. We have found that SDF-1α and its receptor CXCR4 are expressed in islets, also CXCR4 is expressed in and around the proliferating duct epithelium of the regenerating pancreas of the interferon (IFN) γ-nonobese diabetic mouse. We show that SDF-1α stimulates the phosphorylation of Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and Src in pancreatic duct cells. Furthermore, migration assays indicate a stimulatory effect of SDF-1α on ductal cell migration. Importantly, blocking the SDF-1α/CXCR4 axis in IFNγ-nonobese diabetic mice resulted in diminished proliferation and increased apoptosis in the pancreatic ductal cells. Together, these data indicate that the SDF-1α-CXCR4 ligand receptor axis is an obligatory component in the maintenance of duct cell survival, proliferation, and migration during pancreatic regeneration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology