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Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2009 Jul;5(7):394-400. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2009.103. Epub 2009 May 26.

Noninvasive imaging of pancreatic beta cells.

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Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.


Noninvasive imaging and quantification of pancreatic, insulin-producing beta cells has been considered a high-priority field of investigation for the past decade. In the first review on this issue, attention was already paid to various agents for labeling beta cells, including 6-(125)I-D-glucose, (65)Zn, (3)H-glibenclamide, (3)H-mitiglinide, an (125)I-labeled mouse monoclonal antibody against beta-cell surface ganglioside(s), D-(U-(14)C)-glucose and 2-deoxy-2-(18)F-D-glucose to label glycogen accumulated in beta cells in response to sustained hyperglycemia, and, last but not least, an analog of D-mannoheptulose. This Review discusses these methods and further contributions. For instance, emphasis is placed on labeling beta cells with (11)C-dihydrotetrabenazine, which is the most advanced method at present. Attention is also drawn to the latest approaches for noninvasive imaging and functional characterization of pancreatic beta cells. None of these procedures is used in clinical practice yet.

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