There is controversy regarding the roles of bone marrow (BM)-derived cells in pancreatic β-cell regeneration. To examine these roles in vivo, mice were treated with streptozotocin (STZ), followed by bone marrow transplantation (BMT; lethal irradiation and subsequent BM cell infusion) from green fluorescence protein transgenic mice. BMT improved STZ-induced hyperglycemia, nearly normalizing glucose levels, with partially restored pancreatic islet number and size, whereas simple BM cell infusion without preirradiation had no effects. In post-BMT mice, most islets were located near pancreatic ducts and substantial numbers of bromodeoxyuridine-positive cells were detected in islets and ducts. Importantly, green fluorescence protein-positive, i.e. BM-derived, cells were detected around islets and were CD45 positive but not insulin positive. Then to examine whether BM-derived cell mobilization contributes to this process,weused Nos3-/- mice as a model of impaired BM-derived cell mobilization. In streptozotocin-treated Nos3-/- mice, the effects of BMT on blood glucose, islet number, bromodeoxyuridine-positive cells in islets, and CD45-positive cells around islets were much smaller than those in streptozotocin-treated Nos3+/+ controls. A series of BMT experiments using Nos3+/+ and Nos3-/- mice showed hyperglycemia-improving effects of BMT to correlate inversely with the severity of myelosuppression and delay of peripheral white blood cell recovery. Thus, mobilization of BM-derived cells is critical for BMT-induced β-cell regeneration after injury. The present results suggest that homing of donor BM-derived cells in BM and subsequent mobilization into the injured periphery are required for BMT-induced regeneration of recipient pancreatic β-cells.
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