Different developmental histories of beta-cells generate functional and proliferative heterogeneity during islet growth.
Singh SP., Janjuha S., Hartmann T., Kayisoglu Ö., Konantz J., Birke S., Murawala P., Alfar EA., Murata K., Eugster A., Tsuji N., Morrissey ER., Brand M., Ninov N.
The proliferative and functional heterogeneity among seemingly uniform cells is a universal phenomenon. Identifying the underlying factors requires single-cell analysis of function and proliferation. Here we show that the pancreatic beta-cells in zebrafish exhibit different growth-promoting and functional properties, which in part reflect differences in the time elapsed since birth of the cells. Calcium imaging shows that the beta-cells in the embryonic islet become functional during early zebrafish development. At later stages, younger beta-cells join the islet following differentiation from post-embryonic progenitors. Notably, the older and younger beta-cells occupy different regions within the islet, which generates topological asymmetries in glucose responsiveness and proliferation. Specifically, the older beta-cells exhibit robust glucose responsiveness, whereas younger beta-cells are more proliferative but less functional. As the islet approaches its mature state, heterogeneity diminishes and beta-cells synchronize function and proliferation. Our work illustrates a dynamic model of heterogeneity based on evolving proliferative and functional beta-cell states.Βeta-cells have recently been shown to be heterogeneous with regard to morphology and function. Here, the authors show that β-cells in zebrafish switch from proliferative to functional states with increasing time since β-cell birth, leading to functional and proliferative heterogeneity.