Weaning Triggers a Maturation Step of Pancreatic β Cells

Miri Stolovich-Rain, Jonatan Enk, Jonas Vikesa, Finn Cilius Nielsen, Ann Saada, Benjamin Glaser, Yuval Dor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because tissue regeneration deteriorates with age, it is generally assumed that the younger the animal, the better it compensates for tissue damage. We have examined the effect of young age on compensatory proliferation of pancreatic β cells invivo. Surprisingly, β cells in suckling mice fail to enter the cell division cycle in response to a diabetogenic injury or increased glycolysis. The potential of β cells for compensatory proliferation is acquired following premature weaning to normal chow, but not to a diet mimicking maternal milk. In addition, weaning coincides with enhanced glucose-stimulated oxidative phosphorylation and insulin secretion from islets. Transcriptome analysis reveals that weaning increases the expression of genes involved in replication licensing, suggesting a mechanism for increased responsiveness to the mitogenic activity of high glucose. We propose that weaning triggers a discrete maturation step of β cells, elevating both the mitogenic and secretory response to glucose.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)535-545
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number5
StatePublished - 9 Mar 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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