Antibodies for Beta-Cell Subtype Identification by Immunohistochemistry

Contact PI: Marcus Grompe, MD, Oregon Health and Science University

Philip Streeter PhD, Investigator, Oregon Health and Science University
Mark Atkinson PhD, Investigator, University of Florida


Until now it was thought that the insulin producing beta-cells of humans are a single cell type and that all beta-cells have essentially identical properties. We have now identified four distinct subtypes of human beta-cells: beta1, beta2, beta3 and beta4. These subtypes are found in similar proportions in the islets of normal people and all subtypes produce insulin. However, the subtypes differ markedly in how much insulin they release in response to glucose.  Importantly, the distribution of these beta-cell subtypes is highly abnormal in type 2 diabetic islets, with the beta3/4 population (normally ~20% of beta-cells) becoming dominant (>50%). This raises the question whether specific beta-cell subtypes are also differentially involved in type 1 diabetes, but currently nothing is known about this. Unfortunately, the current reagents used to identify beta-cell subtypes work only on fresh islets isolated from cadavers. Our project proposes to generate new antibodies that can be used to stain archival pathological specimens and measure the beta-cell subtype distribution in samples from people with type 1 diabetes.


Opportunity Pool Project Sponsored by CBDS & CTAR.
Awarded: 2016



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