Pancreatic Islet Plasticity
The insulin secreting beta cells within the pancreatic islets have the potential to adapt to various physiological circumstances. An increased demand for insulin due for example to obesity, pregnancy, or beta cell loss can lead to an increased beta cell mass. Alternatively, functional changes in individual beta cells can provide an overall increase in glucose-stimulated insulin release in case of increased demand. This project aims at investigating the cellular triggering mechanisms regulating islet mass and function, by the combined use of in vitro methodologies and in vivo imaging approaches.