Cytokines inducing bone marrow SCA+ cells migration into pancreatic islet and conversion into insulin-positive cells in vivo

Lu Guang Luo, John Z Q Luo, Fang Xiong, Mehrdad Abedi, Deborah Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We hypothesize that specific bone marrow lineages and cytokine treatment may facilitate bone marrow migration into islets, leading to a conversion into insulin producing cells in vivo. In this study we focused on identifying which bone marrow subpopulations and cytokine treatments play a role in bone marrow supporting islet function in vivo by evaluating whether bone marrow is capable of migrating into islets as well as converting into insulin positive cells. We approached this aim by utilizing several bone marrow lineages and cytokine-treated bone marrow from green fluorescent protein (GFP) positive bone marrow donors. Sorted lineages of Mac-1+, Mac-1-, Sca+, Sca-, Sca-/Mac-1+ and Sca+/Mac-1- from GFP positive mice were transplanted to irradiated C57BL6 GFP negative mice. Bone marrow from transgenic human ubiquitin C promoter GFP (uGFP, with strong signal) C57BL6 mice was transplanted into GFP negative C57BL6 recipients. After eight weeks, migration of GFP positive donor' bone marrow to the recipient's pancreatic islets was evaluated as the percentage of positive GFP islets/total islets. The results show that the most effective migration comes from the Sca+/Mac- lineage and these cells, treated with cytokines for 48 hours, were found to have converted into insulin positive cells in pancreatic islets in vivo. This study suggests that bone marrow lineage positive cells and cytokine treatments are critical factors in determining whether bone marrow is able to migrate and form insulin producing cells in vivo. The mechanisms causing this facilitation as well as bone marrow converting to pancreatic beta cells still need to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4504
JournalPLoS One
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 19 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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