• pancreas;
  • clusterin;
  • regeneration;
  • pancreatectomy;
  • beta-cell


Based on our previous observations that clusterin induction accompanies pancreas regeneration in the rat, we sought to determine if regeneration might be impaired in mice that lacked clusterin. We studied the impact of absent clusterin on morphogenic and functional features of regenerating pancreas. Clusterin induction was accompanied in the regenerating pancreas by a robust development of new lobules with ductules, acini, and endocrine islets in wild type after partial pancreatectomy. In clusterin knock-out mice, however, pancreatectomy resulted in a poor formation of regenerating lobule. In particular, regeneration of beta-cells was also significantly reduced and was associated with persistent hyperglycemia. Duct cells obtained from pancreatectomized clusterin knock-out mice exhibited impaired beta-cell formation in vitro; this was restored by administration of exogenous clusterin. We suggest that clusterin plays a critical role to promote both exocrine and endocrine regeneration following pancreas injury, as well as for in vitro beta-cell regeneration. Developmental Dynamics 240:605–615, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.