The Vascular Basement Membrane: A Niche for Insulin Gene Expression and B Cell Proliferation

Nikolova G., Jabs N., Konstantinova I., Domogatskaya A., Tryggvason K., Sorokin L., Fässler R., Gu G., Gerber H-P., Ferrara N., Melton D.A., Lammert E.Developmental Cell, 2006

Mouse pancreatic islets intimately interact with endothelial cells and differentiation and delamination of insulin-producing b cells from pancreatic epithelium strictly require endothelial cells. Doug Melton and colleagues show that BMs within islets are formed and found exclusively around capillaries but not islet cells. Islet endothelial cells express laminin a4 and a5. Laminins promote insulin gene expression and proliferation in B-cells and B1-integrin is required for this laminin response. Laminin-411 and -511 worked well but also laminin-111 which shows that the applied laminin does not necessarily have to be endothelial cell-derived. Research on islet transplantation has shown that it takes about 1–2 weeks for transplanted islets to become revascularized in the host and the authors suggest that treating islets with these laminins prior to transplantation will help maintain insulin production until new capillaries are formed in transplanted islets.