Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 February 2007
Pancreases obtained from 1–9-day-old rabbits were digested with 1 mg/ml ?? collagenase and cultivated with low-glucose Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM). The cells were subcultured almost until confluence. They were identified as pancreatic stem/progenitor cells using two methods: an immunohistochemical staining technique and the response of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion after β-cell induction. Results showed that the cells of rabbits acquired strong proliferation ability, and expressed the markers of pancreatic stem/progenitor cells: PDX-1, CK19 and nestin. After β-cell induction for 2 days, 20% of cells were dithizone (DTZ) positive, rapidly increasing to 80% after 6 days. Insulin secretion was stimulated by a high glucose concentration (26 mmol/l). These powerful tests demonstrated that isolated and cultivated cells in rabbits were pancreatic stem/progenitor cells. This result has not yet been reported elsewhere.
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