Acinar-ductal cell rearrangement drives branching morphogenesis of the murine pancreas in an IGF/PI3K-dependent manner

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Abstract

During organ formation, progenitor cells need to acquire different cell identities and organize themselves into distinct structural units. How these processes are coordinated and how tissue architecture(s) is preserved despite the dramatic cell rearrangements occurring in developing organs remain unclear. Here, we identified cellular rearrangements between acinar and ductal progenitors as a mechanism to drive branching morphogenesis in the pancreas while preserving the integrity of the acinar-ductal functional unit. Using ex vivo and in vivo mouse models, we found that pancreatic ductal cells form clefts by protruding and pulling on the acinar basement membrane, which leads to acini splitting. Newly formed acini remain connected to the bifurcated branches generated by ductal cell rearrangement. Insulin growth factor (IGF)/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway finely regulates this process by controlling pancreatic ductal tissue fluidity, with a simultaneous impact on branching and cell fate acquisition. Together, our results explain how acinar structure multiplication and branch bifurcation are synchronized during pancreas organogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-338.E5
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Volume59
Issue number3
Early online date17 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2024

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