• A re-examination of the origins of placental bed giant cells.

      Jones, Carolyn J P; email: carolyn.jones@manchester.ac.uk; Aplin, John D (2021-08-19)
      In view of controversy about the source of placental multinuclear giant cells, we have re-examined the literature which clearly shows they are derived from trophoblastic elements that have populated the decidua. Archival material for electron microscopy from 17 to 18 week placentae demonstrates they can be found connected via desmosomes to the outer extravillous cytotrophoblast cells of anchoring columns, thus identifying a primary source. We suggest their formation is a terminal differentiation step occurring at all stages of invasion from the cell column to the myometrium, progressively reducing the invasive population. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.]
    • Transcription factors that shape the mammalian pancreas

      Jennings, Rachel E.; orcid: 0000-0003-1492-600X; email: rachel.jennings@manchester.ac.uk; Scharfmann, Raphael; orcid: 0000-0001-7619-337X; email: raphael.scharfmann@inserm.fr; Staels, Willem; orcid: 0000-0001-8259-3329; email: willem.staels@vub.be (Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2020-09-07)
      Abstract: Improving our understanding of mammalian pancreas development is crucial for the development of more effective cellular therapies for diabetes. Most of what we know about mammalian pancreas development stems from mouse genetics. We have learnt that a unique set of transcription factors controls endocrine and exocrine cell differentiation. Transgenic mouse models have been instrumental in studying the function of these transcription factors. Mouse and human pancreas development are very similar in many respects, but the devil is in the detail. To unravel human pancreas development in greater detail, in vitro cellular models (including directed differentiation of stem cells, human beta cell lines and human pancreatic organoids) are used; however, in vivo validation of these results is still needed. The current best ‘model’ for studying human pancreas development are individuals with monogenic forms of diabetes. In this review, we discuss mammalian pancreas development, highlight some discrepancies between mouse and human, and discuss selected transcription factors that, when mutated, cause permanent neonatal diabetes. Graphical abstract