Losing Key Type of Pancreatic Cell May Contribute to Diabetes

Multiple types of beta cells produce insulin in the pancreas, helping to balance blood sugar levels. Losing a particularly productive type of beta cell may contribute to the development of diabetes, according to a new study by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators. In the study, published March 16, 2023 in Nature Cell Biology, Dr. James Lo, Associate Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, and colleagues measured gene expression in individual beta cells collected from mice to determine how many different types of beta cells exist in the pancreas. The team discovered four distinct beta cell types, including one that stood out. The cluster 1 group of beta cells produced more insulin than other beta cells and appeared better able to metabolize sugar. The study also showed that loss of this beta cell type might contribute to type 2 diabetes.  The article is titled “A Beta Cell Subset with Enhanced Insulin Secretion and Glucose Metabolism Is Reduced In Type 2 Diabetes.”           
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