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Nat Commun. 2016 Jul 11;7:11756. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11756.

Human islets contain four distinct subtypes of β cells.

Author information

1
Oregon Stem Cell Center, Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.
2
Department of Genetics and Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism; University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.
3
Diabetes Center, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.

Abstract

Human pancreatic islets of Langerhans contain five distinct endocrine cell types, each producing a characteristic hormone. The dysfunction or loss of the insulin-producing β cells causes diabetes mellitus, a disease that harms millions. Until now, β cells were generally regarded as a single, homogenous cell population. Here we identify four antigenically distinct subtypes of human β cells, which we refer to as β1-4, and which are distinguished by differential expression of ST8SIA1 and CD9. These subpopulations are always present in normal adult islets and have diverse gene expression profiles and distinct basal and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Importantly, the β cell subtype distribution is profoundly altered in type 2 diabetes. These data suggest that this antigenically defined β cell heterogeneity is functionally and likely medically relevant.

PMID:
27399229
PMCID:
PMC4942571
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms11756
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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