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Expression of Mesenchymal and α-Cell Phenotypic Markers in Islet β-Cells in Recently Diagnosed Diabetes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michael White, Dr Helen Marshall, Dr Aimen Amer, Dr Trevor Booth, Steven White, Professor James Shaw


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OBJECTIVE Relative contributions of reversible -cell dysfunction and true decrease in -cell mass in type 2 diabetes remain unclear. Definitive rodent lineage-tracing studies have identified -cell dedifferentiation and subsequent reprogramming to -cell fate as a novel mechanism underlying -cell failure. The aim was to determine whether phenotypes of -cell dedifferentiation and plasticity are present in human diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Immunofluorescence colocalization studies using classical endocrine and mesenchymal phenotypic markers were undertaken using pancreatic sections and isolated islets from three individuals with diabetes and five nondiabetic control subjects. RESULTS Intraislet cytoplasmic coexpression of insulin and vimentin, insulin and glucagon, and vimentin and glucagon were demonstrated in all cases. These phenotypes were not present in nondiabetic control subjects. CONCLUSIONS Coexpression of mesenchymal and -cell phenotypic markers in human diabetic islet -cells has been confirmed, providing circumstantial evidence for -cell dedifferentiation and possible reprogramming to -cells in clinical diabetes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): White MG, Marshall HL, Rigby R, Huang GC, Amer A, Booth T, White S, Shaw JAM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Diabetes Care

Year: 2013

Volume: 36

Issue: 11

Pages: 3818-3820

Print publication date: 01/11/2013

Online publication date: 23/09/2013

ISSN (print): 0149-5992

ISSN (electronic): 1935-5548

Publisher: American Diabetes Association


DOI: 10.2337/dc13-0705


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