Protein & Cell

, Volume 3, Issue 7, pp 521–525

Ultra-structural study of insulin granules in pancreatic β-cells of db/db mouse by scanning transmission electron microscopy tomography

  • Yanhong Xue
  • Wei Zhao
  • Wen Du
  • Xiang Zhang
  • Gang Ji
  • Wang Ying
  • Tao Xu
Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s13238-012-2937-1

Cite this article as:
Xue, Y., Zhao, W., Du, W. et al. Protein Cell (2012) 3: 521. doi:10.1007/s13238-012-2937-1

Abstract

Insulin granule trafficking is a key step in the secretion of glucose-stimulated insulin from pancreatic β-cells. The main feature of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the failure of pancreatic β-cells to secrete sufficient amounts of insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. In this work, we developed and applied tomography based on scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) to image intact insulin granules in the β-cells of mouse pancreatic islets. Using three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction, we found decreases in both the number and the grey level of insulin granules in db/db mouse pancreatic β-cells. Moreover, insulin granules were closer to the plasma membrane in diabetic β-cells than in control cells. Thus, 3D ultra-structural tomography may provide new insights into the pathology of insulin secretion in T2D.

Keywords

insulinsecretory granulediabetesstemtomography3D reconstruction

Supplementary material

13238_2012_2937_MOESM1_ESM.avi (1.3 mb)
Movie 1(AVI 1288 kb)
13238_2012_2937_MOESM2_ESM.avi (1.6 mb)
Movie 2(AVI 1601 kb)

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanhong Xue
    • 1
  • Wei Zhao
    • 1
  • Wen Du
    • 1
  • Xiang Zhang
    • 1
  • Gang Ji
    • 1
  • Wang Ying
    • 1
  • Tao Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of BiophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Life Science and TechnologyHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina