Cell-to-cell contact influences proliferative marker expression and apoptosis in MIN6 cells grown in islet-like structures

M J Luther, E Davies, D Muller, M Harrison, A J Bone, S J Persaud, P M Jones

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Cell-to-cell interactions play an important role in the development and maintenance of the beta-cell phenotype. Here, we have investigated whether E-cadherin plays a role in regulating the growth of insulin-secreting MIN6 cells configured as three-dimensional islet-like clusters (pseudoislets). Pseudoislets form by cell aggregation rather than by proliferation from individual cells and attain the size of primary mouse islets after similar to7 days of maintenance in culture. E-cadherin is known to mediate homotypic cell adhesion between beta-cells and has also been implicated in a number of cellular processes, including proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. E-cadherin and its associated intracellular elements, alpha- and beta-catenin, were upregulated in MIN6 pseudoislets. Pseudoislet formation was associated with an increased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors and a concomitant downregulation of Ki67, suggesting an overall reduction in cellular proliferation. However, measurements of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation revealed that there were no differences in the rate of MIN6 cell proliferation whether they were configured as monolayers or as pseudoislets, which is likely to be a result of their being a transformed cell line. Cells within pseudoislets were not necrotic, but apoptosis appeared to be upregulated in the islet-like structures. However, no differential expression of Fas and FasL was detected in monolayers and pseudoislets. These results suggest that cell-to-cell interactions within islet-like structures may initiate antiproliferative and proapoptotic signals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E502 - E509
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


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