Valentina Cigliola

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Total or near-total loss of insulin-producing β-cells occurs in type 1 diabetes. Restoration of insulin production in type 1 diabetes is thus a major medical challenge. We previously observed in mice in which β-cells are completely ablated that the pancreas reconstitutes new insulin-producing cells in the absence of autoimmunity. The process involves the(More)
Proper functioning of pancreatic islets requires that numerous β-cells are properly coordinated. With evolution, many mechanisms have converged, which now allow individual β-cells to sense the state of activity of their neighbors as well as the changes taking place in the extracellular medium, and to regulate accordingly their own function. Here, we review(More)
The insulin-producing β cells of pancreatic islets are coupled by connexin36 (Cx36) channels. To investigate what controls the expression of this connexin, we have investigated its pattern during mouse pancreas development, and the influence of three transcription factors that are critical for β-cell development and differentiation. We show that (1) the(More)
The advent of multicellular organisms was accompanied by the development of short- and long-range chemical signalling systems, including those provided by the nervous and endocrine systems. In turn, the cells of these two systems have developed mechanisms for interacting with both adjacent and distant cells. With evolution, such mechanisms have diversified(More)
Signalling through gap junctions contributes to control insulin secretion and, thus, blood glucose levels. Gap junctions of the insulin-producing β-cells are made of connexin 36 (Cx36), which is encoded by the GJD2 gene. Cx36-null mice feature alterations mimicking those observed in type 2 diabetes (T2D). GJD2 is also expressed in neurons, which share a(More)
The different forms of diabetes mellitus differ in their pathogenesis but, ultimately, they are all characterized by progressive islet β-cell loss. Restoring the β-cell mass is therefore a major goal for future therapeutic approaches. The number of β-cells found at birth is determined by proliferation and differentiation of pancreatic progenitor cells, and(More)
Pannexins (Panx's) are membrane proteins involved in a variety of biological processes, including cell death signaling and immune functions. The role and functions of Panx's in pancreatic β-cells remain to be clarified. Here, we show Panx1 and Panx2 expression in isolated islets, primary β-cells, and β-cell lines. The expression of Panx2, but not Panx1, was(More)
The pancreas produces enzymes with a digestive function and hormones with a metabolic function, which are produced by distinct cell types of acini and islets, respectively. Within these units, secretory cells coordinate their functioning by exchanging information via signals that flow in the intercellular spaces and are generated either at distance (several(More)
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