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We report that two classes of membrane nanotubes between human monocyte-derived macrophages can be distinguished by their cytoskeletal structure and their functional properties. Thin membrane nanotubes contained only F-actin, whereas thicker nanotubes, i.e., those > approximately 0.7 microm in diameter, contained both F-actin and microtubules. Bacteria(More)
Insulin is secreted from the islets of Langerhans in coordinated pulses. These pulses are thought to lead to plasma insulin oscillations, which are putatively more effective in lowering blood glucose than continuous levels of insulin. Gap-junction coupling of β-cells by connexin-36 coordinates intracellular free calcium oscillations and pulsatile insulin(More)
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS Mutations that render ATP-sensitive potassium (K(ATP)) channels insensitive to ATP inhibition cause neonatal diabetes mellitus. In mice, these mutations cause insulin secretion to be lost initially and, as the disease progresses, beta cell mass and insulin content also disappear. We investigated whether defects in calcium signalling alone(More)
We present the use and characterization of a photon-counting detector for increased sensitivity at low signal levels in fluorescence laser scanning microscopy (LSM). Conventional LSM photomultiplier tube detectors utilize analog current integration and thus suffer from excessive noise at low signal levels, introduced during current measurement. In this(More)
Cell-cell communication in the islet of Langerhans is important for the regulation of insulin secretion. Gap-junctions coordinate oscillations in intracellular free-calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) and insulin secretion in the islet following elevated glucose. Gap-junctions can also ensure that oscillatory [Ca(2+)](i) ceases when glucose is at a basal levels. We(More)
Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) is a functional imaging methodology that can provide information, not only concerning the localisation of specific fluorophores, but also about the local fluorophore environment. It may be implemented in scanning confocal or multi-photon microscopes, or in wide-field microscopes and endoscopes. When applied to tissue(More)
The pancreatic islet is a highly coupled, multicellular system that exhibits complex spatiotemporal electrical activity in response to elevated glucose levels. The emergent properties of islets, which differ from those arising in isolated islet cells, are believed to arise in part by gap junctional coupling, but the mechanisms through which this coupling(More)
Over the past decade, two-photon microscopy has successfully made the transition from the laser laboratory into a true biological research setting. This has been due in part to the recent development of turnkey ultrafast laser systems required for two-photon microscopy, allowing ease of use in nonspecialist laboratories. The advantages of two-photon(More)
The Slc30a8 gene encodes the islet-specific zinc transporter ZnT-8, which provides zinc for insulin-hexamer formation. Polymorphic variants in amino acid residue 325 of human ZnT-8 are associated with altered susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes and ZnT-8 autoantibody epitope specificity changes in Type 1 diabetes. To assess the physiological importance of(More)
Multi-cellular systems require complex signaling mechanisms for proper tissue function, to mediate signaling between cells in close proximity and at distances. This holds true for the islets of Langerhans, which are multicellular micro-organs located in the pancreas responsible for glycemic control, through secretion of insulin and other hormones. Coupling(More)