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Keywords:

  • Xenopus;
  • pancreas;
  • RA;
  • Wnt;
  • TGFβ;
  • Pdx1;
  • Ptf1a;
  • metamorphosis;
  • thyroid hormone

Abstract

Understanding how the pancreas develops is vital to finding new treatments for a range of pancreatic diseases, including diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Xenopus is a relatively new model organism for the elucidation of pancreas development, and has already made contributions to the field. Recent studies have shown benefits of using Xenopus for understanding both early patterning and lineage specification aspects of pancreas organogenesis. This review focuses specifically on Xenopus pancreas development, and covers events from the end of gastrulation, when regional specification of the endoderm is occurring, right through metamorphosis, when the mature pancreas is fully formed. We have attempted to cover pancreas development in Xenopus comprehensively enough to assist newcomers to the field and also to enable those studying pancreas development in other model organisms to better place the results from Xenopus research into the context of the field in general and their studies specifically. Developmental Dynamics 238:1271–1286, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.