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Transgenic mouse model: a new approach for the investigation of endocrine pancreatic B-cell growth.
  1. R F Power,
  2. R Holm,
  3. A E Bishop,
  4. I M Varndell,
  5. S Alpert,
  6. D Hanahan,
  7. J M Polak
  1. Department of Histochemistry, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London.


    The transformation and adaptation of pancreatic insulin-producing (B) cells has been studied in a transgenic mouse model using a panel of antisera recognising peptides and general neuroendocrine markers at both light and electron microscopical levels. Stages of tumour genesis in the transgenic mouse model from hyperplasia to neoplasia, have been compared with human B-cell tumours. A normal complement of peptide containing cells was seen in the transgenic mouse pancreas, but cells containing pro-insulin-derived peptides became more numerous as hyperplasia commenced. The transgenic mouse tumours were composed of B cells, although 30-35% of the tumours were also found to contain PP cells--a finding which is directly comparable with that in human insulin-producing tumours. NSE, 7B2 and chromogranin immunoreactivities were found in most cells from all the tumours examined. Antisera to PGP 9.5, a novel marker for elements of the neuroendocrine system, were found to stain hyperplastic and neoplastic B-cells intensely. In contrast, normal mouse B-cells did not show PGP 9.5 immunoreactivity thus it appears that PGP 9.5 is differentially expressed in transformed and/or growing mouse B-cells and hence may be used as an indicator in studies of early tumour growth.

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