Under a copper-deficient regimen, pancreatic cells in the adult rat can be found to undergo differentiation into hepatocytes. Pancreatic hepatocytes induced in male and female rats were examined for the expression of the androgen-inducible hepatic protein, α2u-globulin. α2u-Globulin protein was demonstrable by immunoperoxidase method in all the pancreatic hepatocytes of male rats. Northern blot analysis confirmed the presence of 1.3 kb α2u-globulin mRNA transcript in the pancreas of male rats with hepatocytes. Orchiectomy resulted in marked decrease of α2u-globulin protein and its mRNA. Administration of dihydrotestosterone to castrated rats resulted in increased levels of α2u-globulin mRNA and the amount of α2u-globulin protein in the pancreatic hepatocytes. Unlike normal males, in intact and ovariectomized females α2u-globulin was not detectable in pancreatic hepatocytes. These results indicate that similar to hepatic parenchymal cells pancreatic hepatocytes synthesize α2u-globulin under androgenic regulation. Furthermore, unlike in liver where it is expressed predominantly in perivenular and midlobular hepatocytes, there is no localized difference in the expression of this gene in the transdifferentiated pancreatic hepatocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology