Title: Prolactin Receptors and Placental Lactogen Drive Male Mouse Pancreatic Islets to Pregnancy-Related mRNA Changes
Authors: Goyvaerts, Lotte
Lemaire, Katleen
Arijs, Ingrid
Auffret, Julien
Granvik, Mikaela
Van Lommel, Leentje
Binart, Nadine
In't Veld, Peter
Schuit, Frans ×
Schraenen, Anica # ×
Issue Date: 27-Mar-2015
Publisher: Public Library of Sciene
Series Title: PLoS One
Article number: e0121868
Abstract: Pregnancy requires a higher functional beta cell mass and this is associated with profound
changes in the gene expression profile of pancreatic islets. Taking Tph1 as a sensitive
marker for pregnancy-related islet mRNA expression in female mice, we previously identified
prolactin receptors and placental lactogen as key signalling molecules. Since beta cells
from male mice also express prolactin receptors, the question arose whether male and female
islets have the same phenotypic resilience at the mRNA level during pregnancy. We
addressed this question in vitro, by stimulating cultured islets with placental lactogen and
in vivo, by transplanting male or female islets into female acceptor mice. Additionally, the
islet mRNA expression pattern of pregnant prolactin receptor deficient mice was compared
with that of their pregnant wild-type littermates. When cultured with placental lactogen, or
when transplanted in female recipients that became pregnant (day 12.5), male islets induced
the ‘islet pregnancy gene signature’, which we defined as the 12 highest induced
genes in non-transplanted female islets at day 12.5 of pregnancy. In addition, serotonin
immunoreactivity and beta cell proliferation was also induced in these male transplanted islets
at day 12.5 of pregnancy. In order to further investigate the importance of prolactin receptors
in these mRNA changes we used a prolactin receptor deficient mouse model. For
the 12 genes of the signature, which are highly induced in control pregnant mice, no significant
induction of mRNA transcripts was found at day 9.5 of pregnancy. Together, our results
support the key role of placental lactogen as a circulating factor that can trigger the pregnancy
mRNA profile in both male and female beta cells.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Gene Expression Unit
Translational Research in GastroIntestinal Disorders
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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