Study explains the link between cilia and diabetes
Tiny extensions on cells, cilia, play an important role in insulin release, according to a new study, which is published in Nature Communications. The researchers report that the cilia of beta cells in the pancreas are covered with insulin receptors and that changed ciliary function can be associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.
Cilia are tiny extensions on cells and they are credited with many important functions, including transduction of signals in cells. Defects in cilia have been implied in several diseases and pathological conditions. Thus, scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, University College London and the Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) took interest in the role of cilia in blood glucose regulation and type 2-diabetes.
"It has been known for some time that the rate of type 2 diabetes is above average in people with ciliopathy, which is a pathological ciliary dysfunction", says Jantje Gerdes, previously at Karolinska Institutet and now at the Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research at the HMGU, first author of the study. "Our results confirm this observation and additionally explain how cilia are linked to glucose metabolism and diabetes."
The researchers investigated the function of ciliary cell extensions in the insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells. Insulin is the hormone that reduces blood glucose levels. When the investigators stimulated the beta cells with glucose the number of insulin receptors on their cilia increased. When circulating insulin binds to the receptors it stimulates the release of more insulin into the blood. The cilia consequently play an important role in the release and signal transduction of insulin.
The investigators also studied what happens when the cilia are defective. They found that in mice with few or defective cilia the insulin release was reduced and the animals had significantly elevated blood glucose levels.
"Ciliary dysfunction and defective glucose utilization are directly linked", says Per-Olof Berggren at the Rolf Luft Research Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at Karolinska Institutet, principal investigator of the study. "Ciliopathies therefore have a potential function as models in the investigation of many still unknown mechanisms that underlie diabetes."
The research was supported by, among others, grants from the Swedish Research Council, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the European Research Council, The Family Erling-Persson Foundation, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and the Stichting af Jochnick Foundation.
Publication: 'Ciliary dysfunction impairs pancreatic insulin secretion and promotes development of type 2 diabetes in rodents', Jantje M. Gerdes, Sonia Christou-Savina, Yan Xiong, Tilo Moede, Noah Moruzzi, Patrick Karlsson-Edlund, Barbara Leibiger, Ingo B. Leibiger, Claes-Göran Östenson, Philip L. Beales, and Per-Olof Berggren, Nature Communications, online 6 November 2014, doi: 10.1038/ncomms6308.
Contact the Press Office: ki.se/pressroom
Karolinska Institutet - a medical university: ki.se/english
Press Office | EurekAlert!
Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences
Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences