2007 年 69 巻 8 号 p. 807-811
To investigate the role of growth factors (epidermal growth factor [EGF], betacellulin, and activin A) in the development of islet B cells of rat fetal pancreatic explants in vitro, pancreases from rat fetuses at day 18 of gestation were cultured for 96 hr, with or without these growth factors. Culture medium was changed every 24 hr, and the level of insulin released in the culture medium was measured. After 72 hr of culture, pancreases were examined histologically. As a result, EGF promoted cell proliferation, but reduced B cell volume. Whereas, betacellulin and activin A inhibited cell division, but promoted increased B cell volume and insulin secretion, especially activin A, which stimulated insulin release in a time dependent manner. These results suggest that EGF, betacellulin, and activin A promote pancreatic cell proliferation, islet B-cell differentiation, and islet B-cell differentiation and functional maturation, respectively, and that EGF, betacellulin, and activin A, in this order, regulate islet B-cell neogenesis.