Pancreatic and intestinal endocrine cells in zebrafish share common transcriptomic signatures and regulatory programmes

Lavergne, A., Tarifeño-Saldivia, E., Pirson, J., Reuter, A.S., Flasse, L., Manfroid, I., Voz, M.L., Peers, B.
BMC Biology   18: 109 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Lavergne, Arnaud, Manfroid, Isabelle, Peers, Bernard, Voz, Marianne
Enteroendocrine, Hormone, Pancreatic endocrine cells, Pax6, RNA-seq, Transcriptome, Transcriptome comparison, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Endocrine Cells/metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Intestines/physiology*
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor/genetics*
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor/metabolism
  • Pancreas/metabolism*
  • Transcriptome*
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
32867764 Full text @ BMC Biol.
Endocrine cells of the zebrafish digestive system play an important role in regulating metabolism and include pancreatic endocrine cells (PECs) clustered in the islets of Langerhans and the enteroendocrine cells (EECs) scattered in the intestinal epithelium. Despite EECs and PECs are being located in distinct organs, their differentiation involves shared molecular mechanisms and transcription factors. However, their degree of relatedness remains unexplored. In this study, we investigated comprehensively the similarity of EECs and PECs by defining their transcriptomic landscape and comparing the regulatory programmes controlled by Pax6b, a key player in both EEC and PEC differentiations.
RNA sequencing was performed on EECs and PECs isolated from wild-type and pax6b mutant zebrafish. Data mining of wild-type zebrafish EEC data confirmed the expression of orthologues for most known mammalian EEC hormones, but also revealed the expression of three additional neuropeptide hormones (Proenkephalin-a, Calcitonin-a and Adcyap1a) not previously reported to be expressed by EECs in any species. Comparison of transcriptomes from EECs, PECs and other zebrafish tissues highlights a very close similarity between EECs and PECs, with more than 70% of genes being expressed in both endocrine cell types. Comparison of Pax6b-regulated genes in EECs and PECs revealed a significant overlap. pax6b loss-of-function does not affect the total number of EECs and PECs but instead disrupts the balance between endocrine cell subtypes, leading to an increase of ghrelin- and motilin-like-expressing cells in both the intestine and pancreas at the expense of other endocrine cells such as beta and delta cells in the pancreas and pyyb-expressing cells in the intestine. Finally, we show that the homeodomain of Pax6b is dispensable for its action in both EECs and PECs.
We have analysed the transcriptomic landscape of wild-type and pax6b mutant zebrafish EECs and PECs. Our study highlights the close relatedness of EECs and PECs at the transcriptomic and regulatory levels, supporting the hypothesis of a common phylogenetic origin and underscoring the potential implication of EECs in metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Genes / Markers
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Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes