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One beta-cell to rule them all?

CMCB PhD Seminar

Date:09.11.2018, 16:00 - 17:00
Speaker: Dr. Nikolay Ninov, Luis Delgadillo (Predoc)
Location: CRTD, auditorium left
Host: Dr. Nikolay Ninov

Abstract
In this seminar we will ask a fundamental question related to the behavior of the insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells. Specifically, we will challenge the idea that all beta-cells are functionally equivalent. Using high speed calcium imaging in the zebrafish pancreas, we have collected evidence for the presence of a critical sub-population of beta-cells. These cells, which we term Leaders, appear to orchestrate the function of the entire islet. Damaging or silencing Leaders can impair the pan-islet response to glucose. Thereby, we reveal that in vivo, the function of an entire islet can fail due to the loss of a small but critical sub-population of its constituent cells. This knowledge might become critical when considering how to regenerate or replace beta-cells in order to cure diabetes.

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