Atypical Forms of Congenital Hyperinsulinism in Infancy Are Associated With Mosaic Patterns of Immature Islet Cells

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



We aimed to characterize mosaic populations of pancreatic islet cells from patients with atypical congenital hyperinsulinism in infancy (CHI-A) and the expression profile of NKX2.2, a key transcription factor expressed in β-cells but suppressed in δ-cells in the mature pancreas.


Tissue was isolated from three patients with CHI-A following subtotal pancreatectomy. CHI-A was diagnosed on the basis of islet mosaicism and the absence of histopathological hallmarks of focal and diffuse CHI (CHI-D). Immunohistochemistry was used to identify and quantify the proportions of insulin-secreting β-cells and somatostatin-secreting δ-cells in atypical islets, and results were compared with CHI-D (n = 3) and age-matched control tissues (n = 3).


In CHI-A tissue, islets had a heterogeneous profile. In resting/quiescent islets, identified by a condensed cytoplasm and nuclear crowding, β-cells were reduced to <50% of the total cell numbers in n = 65/70 islets, whereas δ-cell numbers were increased with 85% of islets (n = 49/57) containing >20% δ-cells. In comparison, all islets in control tissue (n = 72) and 99% of CHI-D islets (n = 72) were composed of >50% β-cells, and >20% δ-cells were found only in 12% of CHI-D (n = 8/66) and 5% of control islets (n = 3/60). Active islets in CHI-A tissue contained proportions of β-cells and δ-cells similar to those of control and CHI-D islets. Finally, when compared with active islets, quiescent islets had a twofold higher prevalence of somatostatin/NKX2.2+ coexpressed cells.


Marked increases in NKX2.2 expression combined with increased numbers of δ-cells strongly imply that an immature δ-cell profile contributed to the pathobiology of CHI-A.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles