A common cause of diabetes is a deficiency of insulin-producing cells in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas. New findings suggest the exocrine tissues of the pancreas instead could make a promising target for stem cell-based diabetes treatment.
Diabetes describes a disease where the body is not receiving a sufficient supply of insulin. It commonly inflicts the pancreas, the organ responsible for insulin production. More specifically, it inflicts the cells that produce insulin, which are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas.
In normal mice (top), the pancreas forms with normal spatial organization as seen by the distinct patterning of different colored cell types. In Pdx1 mutant mice (bottom), however, the pancreas is much smaller and loses its spatial organization. Scale bars = 50 micro meter.
Credit: Kawaguchi Laboratory, CiRA, Kyoto University
However, new results from the Yoshiya Kawaguchi lab suggest the exocrine tissue, which is responsible for digestion, could have a role in treatment. "The pancreas is constituted of two tissues that are structurally and functionally distinct, which makes it unique", says Prof. Yoshiya Kawaguchi of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, which is why most researchers attend the endocrine tissue for diabetes.
However, while the exocrine and endocrine tissues operate independently in mature pancreas, they are formed at the same time during pancreas development. Kawaguchi wondered if diseased exocrine tissue could cause deficiencies in the production of endocrine cells.
To investigate this possibility, his team constructed mice that depleted the Pdx1 gene, which in the pancreas is exclusively found in exocrine tissue. The result was underdeveloped pancreas, but in addition, and surprisingly, the mice showed diabetes phenotype, such as low insulin levels, suggesting endocrine development was also affected.
However, what caught the researchers' attention was which cells had changed. Endocrine progenitor cells that did not have the mutation in the mutant mice also showed poor survival.
These results suggest non-cell autonomous effects, which describes the phenomenon where cells with genetic defects may cause malfunction in neighboring, genetically healthy cells, and could have important implications for diabetes treatment.
"This is an exciting finding", explains Kawaguchi, adding, "It means the exocrine cells secrete something that promotes the differentiation and survival of endocrine cells during development". This substance, Kawaguchi hopes, could lead to promising treatments for diabetes.
Peter Karagiannis | EurekAlert!
‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie
Calcium Induces Chronic Lung Infections
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy