Transcriptome landmarks of the functional maturity of rat beta-cells, from lactation to adulthood

    1. Marcia Hiriart1
    1. 1Department of Neurodevelopment and Physiology, Neuroscience Division, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
    2. 2Immunogenomics and Metabolic Disease Laboratory, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, SS, Mexico City, Mexico
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to M Hiriart; Email: mhiriart{at}


    Research on the postnatal development of pancreatic beta-cells has become an important subject in recent years. Understanding the mechanisms that govern beta-cell postnatal maturation could bring new opportunities to therapeutic approaches for diabetes. The weaning period consists of a critical postnatal window for structural and physiologic maturation of rat beta-cells. To investigate transcriptome changes involved in the maturation of beta-cells neighboring this period, we performed microarray analysis in fluorescence-activated cell-sorted (FACS) beta-cell-enriched populations. Our results showed a variety of gene sets including those involved in the integration of metabolism, modulation of electrical activity, and regulation of the cell cycle that play important roles in the maturation process. These observations were validated using reverse hemolytic plaque assay, electrophysiological recordings, and flow cytometry analysis. Moreover, we suggest some unexplored pathways such as sphingolipid metabolism, insulin-vesicle trafficking, regulation of transcription/transduction by miRNA-30, trafficking proteins, and cell cycle proteins that could play important roles in the process mentioned above for further investigation.

    • Received 2 May 2016
    • Accepted 24 May 2016
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 1 July 2016
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