BACKGROUND It has been suggested that the ectopic expression of PDX1, a dominant pancreatic transcription factor, plays a critical role in the developmental programming of the pancreas even from cells of unrelated tissues such as keratinocytes and amniotic fluid stem cells. In this study we have chosen to drive pancreatic development in human amnion epithelial cells by inducing endogenous PDX1 expression. Further, we have investigated the role of Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) and Poly-L-Ornithine (PLO) on this differentiation process. RESULTS Human amnion epithelial cells expressed high levels of endogenous PDX1 upon transduction with an adenoviral vector expressing murine Pdx1. Other markers of various stages of pancreatic differentiation such as NKX6.1, SOX17, RFX6, FOXA2, CFTR, NEUROD1, PAX4 and PPY were also expressed upon Pdx1 transduction. Although initial expression of pancreatic progenitor markers was higher in culture conditions lacking EGF, for a sustained and increased expression EGF was required. Culture on PLO further increased the positive impact of EGF. CONCLUSION Pancreatic marker expression subsequent to mPdx1 transduction suggests that this approach may facilitate the in vitro differentiation of hAECs into cells of the endocrine pancreas. This result may have important implications in diabetes therapy.
Balaji, S., Zhou, Y., Ganguly, A., Opara, E. C., & Soker, S. (2016). The combined effect of PDX1, epidermal growth factor and poly-L-ornithine on human amnion epithelial cells’ differentiation. BMC Developmental Biology, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12861-016-0108-y