Progenitor Epithelium: Sorting Out Pancreatic Lineages

Leilani Marty-Santos, Ondine Cleaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Insulin-producing β cells within the vertebrate fetal pancreas acquire their fate in a step-wise manner. Whereas the intrinsic factors dictating the transcriptional or epigenetic status of pancreatic lineages have been intensely examined, less is known about cell–cell interactions that might constitute a niche for the developing β cell lineage. It is becoming increasingly clear that understanding and recapitulating these steps may instruct in vitro differentiation of embryonic stem cells and/or therapeutic regeneration. Indeed, directed differentiation techniques have improved since transitioning from 2D to 3D cultures, suggesting that the 3D microenvironment in which β cells are born is critical. However, to date, it remains unknown whether the changing architecture of the pancreatic epithelium impacts the fate of cells therein. An emerging challenge in the field is to elucidate how progenitors are allocated during key events, such as the stratification and subsequent resolution of the pre-pancreatic epithelium, as well as the formation of lumens and branches. Here, we assess the progenitor epithelium and examine how it might influence the emergence of pancreatic multipotent progenitors (MPCs), which give rise to β cells and other pancreatic lineages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-574
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 29 2015


  • beta cell
  • diabetes
  • ducts
  • endocrine
  • exocrine
  • islets
  • pancreas
  • stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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