Seminar: Emerging roles of microRNAs in beta cell functions and in the development of diabetes

2012-09-05: by Romano Regazzi, Department of Biology, Lausanne University, Switzerland on September 5th from 14.00-15.00 at University of Copenhagen, SUND/LIFE, Grønnegårdsvej 7 (bldg. 1-04), 1st floor, Library/M106, 1870 Frederiksberg C

Registration is not necessary, refreshments will be served.


Diabetes mellitus is a complex metabolic disease resulting in altered glucose homeostasis. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are characterised by the release of amounts of insulin that are inappropriate to regulate blood glucose levels. This occurs because of defective insulin secretion from beta cells and/or loss of beta cells by apoptosis. In our laboratory, we identified changes in the level of several microRNAs in pancreatic beta cells isolated from animal models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We found that overexpression or blockade of these microRNAs in beta cells, mimicking the conditions associated with the development of diabetes, trigger changes in signalling cascades that affect the secretory capacity and/or the survival of beta cells. Moreover, preventing the changes in microRNA expression in physiopathological conditions that favour the development of diabetes permitted to restore insulin secretion and to protect the cells from apoptosis. Our findings suggest that microRNAs play an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus.