Organ-specific patterns of myeloid cells may contribute tissue-specific growth and/or regenerative potentials. The perinatal stage of pancreas development marks a time characterized by maximal proliferation of pancreatic islets, ensuring the maintenance of glucose homeostasis throughout life. Ontogenically distinct CX3CR1+ and CCR2+ macrophage populations have been reported in the adult pancreas, but their functional contribution to islet cell growth at birth remains unknown. Here, we uncovered a temporally restricted requirement for CCR2+ myeloid cells in the perinatal proliferation of the endocrine pancreatic epithelium. CCR2+ macrophages are transiently enriched over CX3CR1+ subsets in the neonatal pancreas through both local expansion and recruitment of immature precursors. Using CCR2-specific depletion models, we show that loss of this myeloid population leads to a striking reduction in β cell proliferation, dysfunctional islet phenotypes, and glucose intolerance in newborns. Replenishment of pancreatic CCR2+ myeloid compartments by adoptive transfer rescues these defects. Gene profiling identifies pancreatic CCR2+ myeloid cells as a prominent source of IGF2, which contributes to IGF1R-mediated islet proliferation. These findings uncover proproliferative functions of CCR2+ myeloid subsets and identify myeloid-dependent regulation of IGF signaling as a local cue supporting pancreatic proliferation.
Kristin Mussar, Stephanie Pardike, Tobias M. Hohl, Gary Hardiman, Vincenzo Cirulli, Laura Crisa
Quantitative analysis of leukocyte subsets in BM, splenic, and pancreatic tissue compartments of CCR2DTR/+ and WT mice treated with diphtheria toxin.