Fransje Boot

The pancreatic islet consists of several different cell types, like the insulin-producing beta cell, the glucagon-producing alpha cell, and the somatostatin-producing delta cell. The beta cell is widely the most studied, but both in in health and disease, little is known about the mechanisms behind glucagon secretion by the alpha cells in the pancreatic islets, whilst there are indications for alpha-cell dysfunction in type 1 and 2 diabetes, contributing to inappropriate glucagon response in patients. At the same time, alpha cells are capable of surviving stress, like an autoimmune attack, whilst this can kill the beta cells. My PhD projects focuses on the alpha cell: Which factors aid their survival, and which components are needed to regulate these cells to prevent dysfunction?

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