Image of the Month: Islet of Langerhans

Cells of the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas help regulate blood sugar. Disrupting their normal function can contribute to the development of diabetes.

Islet of Langerhans. Cells of the Islet of Langerhans in the pancreas produce insulin and glucagon, hormones that work together to regulate the levels of blood sugar in the body. This image captures two main cell types as revealed by immunohistochemistry, a special staining process. Beta cells (green) produce insulin and alpha cells (red) produce glucagon. The nuclei of the cells is shown in blue. Image courtesy of Ge Li/Waterland lab/Environmental Epigenetics, 2019.

The laboratory of Dr. Robert Waterland investigates how nutrition during embryonic, fetal and early postnatal life triggers lifelong changes in gene expression, metabolism and risk of disease, such as diabetes.

This Image of the Month is part of a project from the Waterland lab that studied the effects of early postnatal overnutrition on DNA methylation in pancreatic islets and the repercussions for health later in life. You can find all the details of this study in the journal Environmental Epigenetics and read an interview with Dr. Waterland in From the Labs.

 

Dr. Robert A. Waterland

 

 

Dr. Robert A. Waterland is professor of pediatrics – nutrition at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital, and of molecular and human genetics at Baylor. He also is a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

 

 

 

 

By Ana María Rodríguez, Ph.D.

 

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