Mitochondrial dynamics and morphology in beta-cells

Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, 650 Albany St., EBRC X-840, Boston, MA 02118, USA.
Best practice & research. Clinical endocrinology & metabolism 12/2012; 26(6):725-38. DOI: 10.1016/j.beem.2012.05.004
Source: PubMed


Mitochondrial dynamics contribute to the regulation of mitochondrial shape as well as various mitochondrial functions and quality control. This is of particular interest in the beta-cell because of the key role mitochondria play in the regulation of beta-cell insulin secretion function. Moreover, mitochondrial dysfunction has been suggested to contribute to the development of Type 2 Diabetes. Genetic tools that shift the balance of mitochondrial fusion and fission result in alterations to beta-cell function and viability. Additionally, conditions that induce beta-cell dysfunction, such as exposure to a high nutrient environment, disrupt mitochondrial morphology and dynamics. While it has been shown that mitochondria display a fragmented morphology in islets of diabetic patients and animal models, the mechanism behind this is currently unknown. Here, we review the current literature on mitochondrial morphology and dynamics in the beta-cell as well as some of the unanswered question in this field.

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