Pancreatic β cell dysfunction is pathognomonic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and is driven by environmental and genetic factors. β cell responses to glucose and to incretins such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are altered in the disease state. While rodent β cells act as a coordinated syncytium to drive insulin release, this property is unexplored in human islets. In situ imaging approaches were therefore used to monitor in real time the islet dynamics underlying hormone release. We found that GLP-1 and GIP recruit a highly coordinated subnetwork of β cells that are targeted by lipotoxicity to suppress insulin secretion. Donor BMI was negatively correlated with subpopulation responses to GLP-1, suggesting that this action of incretin contributes to functional β cell mass in vivo. Conversely, exposure of mice to a high-fat diet unveiled a role for incretin in maintaining coordinated islet activity, supporting the existence of species-specific strategies to maintain normoglycemia. These findings demonstrate that β cell connectedness is an inherent property of human islets that is likely to influence incretin-potentiated insulin secretion and may be perturbed by diabetogenic insults to disrupt glucose homeostasis in humans.
David J. Hodson, Ryan K. Mitchell, Elisa A. Bellomo, Gao Sun, Laurent Vinet, Paolo Meda, Daliang Li, Wen-Hong Li, Marco Bugliani, Piero Marchetti, Domenico Bosco, Lorenzo Piemonti, Paul Johnson, Stephen J. Hughes, Guy A. Rutter
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.