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Bosco M.D.,Renal and Transplantation Immunology Laboratory | Mohanasundaram D.M.,Renal and Transplantation Immunology Laboratory | Drogemuller C.J.,Renal and Transplantation Immunology Laboratory | Lang C.J.,University of Adelaide | And 5 more authors.
Review of Diabetic Studies

The critical trace element zinc is essential for normal insulin production, and plays a central role in cellular protection against apoptosis and oxidative stress. The regulation of zinc within the pancreas and β-cells is controlled by the zinc transporter families ZnT and ZIP. Pancreatic islets display wide variability in the occurrence of these molecules. The zinc transporter, ZnT8 is an important target for autoimmuity in type 1 diabetes. Gene polymorphisms of this transporter confer sensitivity for immunosuppressive drugs used in islet transplantation. Understanding the biology of zinc transport within pancreatic islets will provide insight into the mechanisms of β-cell death, and may well reveal new pathways for improvement of diabetes therapy, including islet transplantation. This review discusses the possible roles of zinc in β-cell physiology with a special focus on islet transplantation. © by Lab & Life Press/SBDR. Source

Mohanasundaram D.,Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplantation Services | Mohanasundaram D.,University of Adelaide | Drogemuller C.,Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplantation Services | Drogemuller C.,University of Adelaide | And 15 more authors.
General and Comparative Endocrinology

The New world primates (NWP) Callithrix jacchus separated from man approximately 50. million years ago and is a potential alternative small non-human primate model for diabetes research. Ultrastructure, and gene expression of pancreatic islets and the recently described diabetes auto antigenic zinc transporters families in human, NWP and pig pancreas were studied. Morphologically NWP islets were larger than pig islets and similar in size to human islets. NWP islets alpha cells had high dense core surrounded by a limiting membrane, beta cells by the mixed morphology of the granule core, and delta cells by moderate opaque core. Antibody staining for insulin, glucagon, somatostatin and Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) showed that the distribution pattern of the different cell types within islets was comparable to pig and human islets. In all three species protein expression of zinc transporter ZnT8 was detected in most of the insulin producing beta cells whereas Zip14 expression was widely expressed in alpha and beta cells. In both human and NWP little or no expression of Glut2 was observed compared to Glut1 and glucokinase at the protein level, however the messenger RNA level of Glut2 was greater than Glut1 and glucokinase. In contrast all three glucose transporters were expressed in pig islets at the protein level. The expression of Zip14 in islets is reported for the first time. In conclusion NWP pancreatic islets express comparable islet cell types and distribution to humans and pigs. Importantly, marmosets have a similar glucose transporter profile to humans, making this non-endangered primate species a useful animal model for pancreatic biology. © 2011. Source

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