Maternal Microchimerism: Increased in the Insulin Positive Compartment of Type 1 Diabetes Pancreas but Not in Infiltrating Immune Cells or Replicating Islet Cells

Jody Ye, Marta Vives-Pi, Kathleen M Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background

Maternal microchimeric cells (MMc) transfer across the placenta during pregnancy. Increased levels of MMc have been observed in several autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes but their role is unknown. It has been suggested that MMc are 1) effector cells of the immune response, 2) targets of the autoimmune response or 3) play a role in tissue repair. The aim of this study was to define the cellular phenotype of MMc in control (n = 14) and type 1 diabetes pancreas (n = 8).

Methods

Using sex chromosome-based fluorescence in-situ hybridization, MMc were identified in male pancreas and their phenotype determined by concomitant immunofluorescence.

Results

In normal pancreas, MMc positive for endocrine, exocrine, duct and acinar markers were identified suggesting that these cells are derived from maternal progenitors. Increased frequencies of MMc were observed in type 1 diabetes pancreas (p = 0.03) with particular enrichment in the insulin positive fraction (p = 0.01). MMc did not contribute to infiltrating immune cells or Ki67+ islet cell populations in type 1 diabetes.

Conclusion

These studies provide support for the hypothesis that MMc in human pancreas are derived from pancreatic precursors. Increased frequencies of MMc beta cells may contribute to the initiation of autoimmunity or to tissue repair but do not infiltrate islets in type 1 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere86985
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2014

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