Deciphering the complexities of human β cell physiology is critical to our understanding of the pathophysiology behind both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. One way to do this is to study individuals with congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI), a rare genetic disease characterized by dysregulation of insulin secretion resulting in hypoglycemia. In this issue of the JCI, Henquin et al. report in vitro studies of pancreatic tissue obtained from CHI patients during therapeutic pancreatectomy that have yielded exciting new insights into human β cell physiology. The data validate and extend observations made in model organisms.
Schematic representation of the major genetic etiologies of CHI.