Nav: Home

Lesions found within pancreatic islets provide clue for diabetes research

December 12, 2016

Researchers at the Umeå Center for Molecular Medicine have created the first 3D spatial visualization of an obese mouse pancreas showing the distribution dynamics of insulin producing beta cells. The results show significant amounts of cystic lesions within pancreatic islets. These lesions could be linked to alterations in the mass and function of insulin producing beta cells.

"By using the method optical projection tomography (OPT), we created the first 3D-spatial and quantitative account of beta cell mass distribution in an obese and insulin resistant mouse model," says Saba Parween, researcher at the Umeå Center for Molecular Medicine.

The 3D-depiction revealed a previously unreported degree of cystic lesions in large islets that were occupied by red blood cells and fibrin mesh. According to Saba Parween, these lesions could be caused by a mechanism involving the leakage of red blood cells and blood plasma due to increased blood flow and vessel instability within the islets. Intra-islet lesions have apparently been overlooked in the past.

The pancreatic endocrine cells, most importantly the insulin producing beta cells, play an important role in regulating blood glucose homeostasis. Alterations in the beta cell mass or the function of the insulin producing cells play a major role in the development and progression of diabetes.

"Understanding beta cell mass dynamics in disease models is therefore a key aspect for better interpretation of research results. More in depth studies will be required to address the potential effects of these cystic lesions on beta cell function," says Saba Parween.

The data also indicated that different lobes of the pancreas have different potential for expanding their beta cell mass. The observed variations in beta cell mass expansion suggest that a careful consideration of these variations is required while performing tissue sampling for studying diabetes disease dynamics.

The possibility to monitor beta cell mass in vivo would radically improve researcher's abilities to study the pathogenesis of diabetes and potentially also the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a widely used technique that has become a promising approach to monitor changes in beta cell mass in vivo. A key issue for using this approach is to evaluate the beta cell specificity and read out of the utilized radiotracers. This is most commonly performed by conventional stereological approaches, which rely on the extrapolation of 2D data.

"Therefore, we developed a new OPT-based multimodal imaging protocol that enables rapid and accurate cross evaluation of radiotracers for SPECT-based beta cell imaging. We propose that this protocol is an accurate and better approach for validating the performance radiotracers for beta cell imaging," concludes Saba Parween.
-end-
Saba Parween is a molecular biologist from India working on imaging beta cells during diabetes by using optical projection tomography. She has been a Marie Curie research fellow in the BetaTrain consortium, did her secondment at R&D site of Novo Nordisk in Copenhagen for a month and had a collaboration with Radboud Universuity Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC) during her PhD in Molecular Medicine. Before starting her PhD in 2012, she earned her Master's in Biotechnology in 2010 and then worked at National Brain Research Centre in India.

For more information, please contact:
Saba Parween, Umeå Center for Molecular Medicine
Phone: 090-785 4419
Email: saba.parween@umu.se

Umea University

Related Diabetes Articles:

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Older Americans with diabetes living longer without disability, US study shows
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
Reverse your diabetes -- and you can stay diabetes-free long-term
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
New cause of diabetes
Although insulin-producing cells are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas, a new mouse study suggests that abnormalities in the exocrine tissue could cause cell non-autonomous effects that promotes diabetes-like symptoms.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Reducing sugar content in sugar-sweetened drinks by 40 percent over 5 years could prevent 1.5 million cases of overweight and obesity in the UK and 300,000 cases of diabetes
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.
Breastfeeding lowers risk of type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Related Diabetes Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#532 A Class Conversation
This week we take a look at the sociology of class. What factors create and impact class? How do we try and study it? How does class play out differently in different countries like the US and the UK? How does it impact the political system? We talk with Daniel Laurison, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College and coauthor of the book "The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged", about class and its impacts on people and our systems.