Pancreas Cells in People Who Have Died Show Significant Signs of Stress

Rockville, Md. (April 1, 2024)—People with Type 1 diabetes require daily insulin shots to regulate their blood sugar levels. This is because their immune system kills beta cells found in islets in the pancreas. Beta cells release and disburse insulin to cells throughout the body. Insulin is needed to break down sugar.

It is common for researchers to use islets from deceased people to study Type 1 diabetes, but these islets are often stressed. The findings of this study suggest islets from those who have died are so stressed they do not function normally. This means the impaired islets cannot help physiologists better understand Type 1 diabetes.

“We need to find ways to reduce the stress of islets from deceased patients to improve Type 1 diabetes research,” said Jennifer S. Stancill, PhD, of the Medical University of South Carolina, and a lead author of the study.

Read the full article, “Single cell RNAseq analysis of cytokine-treated human islets: association of cellular stress with impaired cytokine responsiveness,” published ahead of print in Function. Contact APS Media Relations or call 301.634.7314 to schedule an interview with a member of the research team.


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