Walther-Straub-Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie
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AG Gudermann/Khajavi

The role of TRP channels in pancreatic beta-cell function and regulation of insulin release

Leitung: Dr. Noushafarin Khajavi

Arbeitsgruppenmitglieder: Dimitrije Spasic (Masterstudent), Elisabeth Kleeblatt (Wiss. Hilfskraft)

Our research focusses on conditional gene targeting for in vivo analysis of transient receptor potential channel (TRP) functions in pancreatic β-cells.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) results from the failure of β-cells to compensate for an increased metabolic demand by releasing insulin. Two billion adults and forty million children are currently overweight with 350 million afflicted with T2D. The majority of persons with excess body weight have proven largely resistant to weight loss by current therapeutic approaches. Therefore, the development of safe and effective drug therapy to complement healthy lifestyle intervention is a global priority. One of the major goals in the diabetes research field and drug development for this disease is to identify the factors that regulate β‐cell function and influence insulin secretion. New research has shown the expression of several TRP channels in pancreatic β-cells. It has been suggested that TRP channels are important regulators of insulin secretion. However, the exact role of several TRPs such as TRPM6 and TRPM7 in insulin secretion, glucose homeostasis and the development of T2D has not yet been determined.

Here we use the CreERTloxP system for inducible cell-specific gene recombination in order to identify the TRP channels that particularly regulate insulin secretion from pancreatic β‐cells. We also study the function of TRP channels during periods of metabolic stress, such as high fat diet‐induced obesity in Cre-transgenic mouse lines.

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