MALDI imaging to access beta cells in their intact immediate environment

Aichler, M. et al. (2017). N-acyl taurines and acylcarnitines cause an imbalance in insulin synthesis and secretion provoking β cell dysfunction in type 2 diabetes, Cell Metabolism, DOI:10.1016/j.cmet.2017.04.012.

While in type 1 diabetes the beta cells of the Langerhans islets in the pancreas are destroyed and absolute insulin deficiency occurs, type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunctions. So far, researchers knew very little about the concrete pathophysiological processes in Langerhans islands during the development of type 2 diabetes. This is mainly due to the fact that the Langerhans Islands were only accessible to a limited extent due to their location in the pancreas. High-resolution mass spectrometry imaging made it possible to examine the distribution of metabolic products (cell metabolites) and proteins directly in tissue sections to study islets of Langerhans in their natural environment in the pancreas. (Read more about it on the research center’s own press information and news page.)