Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The pancreas as we’ve never seen it before

25.08.2011
Professor Ulf Ahlgren and associates at Umeå University in Sweden are a leading research team in the world in the development of optical projection tomography.

With the aid of this imaging technology, they have now described aspects of how the pancreas develops during embryonic development and how the so-called islets of Langerhans are distributed in the adult organ. The findings are important for the interpretation of modeling systems for diabetes.


OPT images depicting two views of the embryonic stomach, intestine, and pancreas of a mouse. The newly developed algorithms presented in IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging allow OPT imaging of biomedical preparations in great detail. The study was performed in collaboration with researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, as well as the Department of Computer Science at Umeå University and Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine (UCMM). The two images depict the same preparation; the image on the right is rotated 180 degrees. Photo and ©: Authors of the article.

New methods for the Optic Projection Tomography (OPT) imaging technology are presented by Umeå researchers in the prestigious journal for scientific imaging, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging. Using these methods, the researchers have also made new discoveries about the developmental biology and adult structure of the pancreas. These discoveries are being published in the journals PLoS ONE and Islets. 



OPT is a technique for three-dimensional visualization of gene and protein expression in tissue samples. The technology, which is broadly similar to medical computer tomography, uses ordinary light instead of x-rays and is being used more frequently in basic research fields such as developmental biology, plant biology and pathology. OPT, which was originally limited to analyses of small preparations, has previously been refined by the Umeå scientists to enable analysis of entire organs, such as the pancreas from various rodent model systems to understand diabetes.



In the study now being presented in IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging the researchers describe a computer-based technique for correcting distortions in the creation of OPT images. The newly developed methods contribute generally to enhanced quantitative and visual OPT analyses in various types of tissues by increasing the sensitivity to small and faintly illuminated objects and by creating a more exact reproduction of the cells depicted in the tissue.

Using the newly developed methods, the scientists present new findings about the developmental biology and structure of the pancreas. The pancreas contains the so-called islets of Langerhans, which produce the hormone insulin. Disrupted insulin production and/or in the ability of the body’s cells to respond to insulin signals can lead to diabetes.

In one of the studies, presented in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers describe the developmental biological conditions for the formation of the so-called gastric lobe of the pancreas in the embryo. The development of this part of the pancreas has not been described in detail. However, the scientists in Umeå have found that this part of the pancreas is dependent on the normal development of the nearby spleen in order to form.

In yet another study, in the journal Islets, the researchers show that the insulin-producing islets are more numerous and considerably more unevenly distributed in the pancreas than was previously thought. For instance, the gastric lobe of the pancreas contains relatively more islets of Langerhans than the rest of the organ does.



Taken together, these studies offer information that is valuable to help evaluate how hereditary and environmental factors affect the number of insulin producing cells in various model systems for diabetes. The studies were made possible by grants from the Kempe Foundations, among others.

For more information, please contact Professor Ulf Ahlgren, Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine (UCMM) at phone: +46 (0)90-785 44 34; mobile: +46 (0)70-220 92 28; e-mail Ulf.Ahlgren@ucmm.umu.se.

Bertil Born | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

nachricht Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum material is promising 'ion conductor' for research, new technologies

17.08.2018 | Materials Sciences

Low bandwidth? Use more colors at once

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>