Diabetes and pancreatic islets
The pancreatic islets play a central role in blood glucose regulation. This regulation is exerted via release of the three hormones insulin, glucagon and somatostatin, which are released by the beta-, alpha- and delta-cells, respetively. We explore this regulation by a spectrum of advanced techniques that permit the study of individual islet cells, the coordination of the hormone release in the intact islet and the crosstalk between the pancreatic islets and the rest of the body (the brain, fat, gut and liver). Our studies demonstrate that electrical impulses play a central role in these processes. We study how these – very small – electrical signals are genareted and their relationship to stimulation and inhibition of islet hormone release under a variety of physiological conditions.