New insights into the architecture of the islet of Langerhans: a focused cross-species assessment

Rafael Arrojo e DrigoBernhard O Boehm


The human genome project and its search for factors underlying human diseases has fostered a major human research effort. Therefore, unsurprisingly, in recent years we have observed an increasing number of studies on human islet cells, including disease approaches focusing on type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Yet, the field of islet and diabetes research relies on the legacy of rodent-based investigations, which have proven difficult to translate to humans, particularly in type 1 diabetes. Whole islet physiology and pathology may differ between rodents and humans, and thus a comprehensive cross-species as well as species-specific view on islet research is much needed. In this review we summarise the current knowledge of interspecies islet cytoarchitecture, and discuss its potential impact on islet function and future perspectives in islet pathophysiology research.


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