Engineering Research Deepens Understanding of Glucose-Insulin Interaction (UF College of Engineering News)

Engineering Research Deepens Understanding of Glucose-Insulin Interaction

When insulin is secreted from beta cells in the pancreas to control glucose levels in the bloodstream, gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA) is also released from the cells to calm them so that the cells can prepare for the next pulse of insulin secretion. Having a stable insulin level is key to the functioning of a healthy pancreas. Impairment to beta-cell GABA biosynthesis or release of GABA from the cell could leave islet tissue vulnerable to dysfunction or inflammation associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Edward Phelps, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at UF, Walker Hagan, a Ph.D. student in the Phelps Lab, and an interdisciplinary research team have developed a method to measure where and how GABA is released from beta cells in the pancreas. Dr. Phelps and his colleagues have published a paper on their findings in Nature Metabolism, 2019 Nov 15; 11(1).

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