Currently Viewing:
Currently Reading
Research Describes "Dimmer Switch" in Pancreatic Islet Cells
September 22, 2015 – AJMC Staff
New FDA Nominee May Face Challenges for His Pharma Ties
September 21, 2015 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
Integrating Community, Clinical Services to Prevent and Treat Obesity
September 19, 2015 – Laura Joszt
NIH Approves Blueprint for Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative
September 18, 2015 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
Explaining a Mystery of Insulin-Producing Cells to Find Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes
September 18, 2015 – AJMC Staff
Empagliflozin Shown to Cut Mortality Risk in Long-Term CV Outcomes Trial
September 17, 2015 – Mary K. Caffrey
Omada Health Raises $48M for Obesity Prevention; Humana and Providence Among Investors
September 16, 2015 – Mary K. Caffrey
Diabetes Care Study Finds Increased Cancer Risk With Glyburide
September 15, 2015 – AJMC Staff
Sanofi Reports LixiLan-L Topline Results; Says Combo Superior to Insulin Alone
September 14, 2015 – Mary K. Caffrey

Research Describes "Dimmer Switch" in Pancreatic Islet Cells

AJMC Staff
The research could hold the key to a novel treatment for type 2 diabetes, although it will take years to adapt the idea to clinical practice.
A paper appearing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation identifies a molecular pathway that regulates the level of insulin produced by pancreatic islet cells, which the research team described as a “dimmer switch” that adjusts the amount of insulin secreted as blood sugar rises or falls.

What’s more, the team has found that this regulator, which seems lost once type 2 diabetes (T2D) occurs, can be restored if the correct level of insulin is regained from the islet cells. Obviously, this could hold the key to a new treatment, according to Patrick MacDonald, PhD, an associate professor at the University of Alberta and senior author on the study.

The research involved cells from 99 donated human organs that MacDonald said were key to the study. This occurred through access to the Alberta Diabetes Institute's IsletCore, a biobank established with funding from the Alberta Diabetes Foundation and the University of Albert, which collects pancreatic islets from organ donors--with and without diabetes--for diabetes research in Edmonton and across North America.

MacDonald said showing how this dimmer effect occurs on the molecular level is one thing, but translating the research into clinical use could yet take decades. That doesn’t make the results any less exciting. . "Understanding the islet cells in the pancreas that make insulin, how they work--and how they can fail--could lead to new ways to treat the disease, delaying or even preventing diabetes," he said in a statement released by the university.

"We don't know enough to stop Type 2 diabetes yet, but this is a large step towards understanding what's going wrong in the first place."


Ferdaoussi M, Dai X, Jensen MV, et al. Isocitrate-to-SENP1 signaling amplifies insulin secretion and rescues dysfunctional β cells [published online September 21, 2015]. J Clin Invest. 2015; DOI:10.1172/JCI82498.

Copyright AJMC 2006-2020 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Welcome the the new and improved, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up