The overall theme of my lab concerns looking at the pathways of insulin secretion so that we can better understand type 2 diabetes. One of my post doc focuses for her project involves the relationship between GLP-1 and GIP. In previous studies done at the DMPI, data has suggested that there is a compensatory effect when cognate G-protein coupled receptor (GCCR) was eliminated, leading to an increase for alpha cell GLP-1 content. This information is important for future studies because GLP-1 levels are important for insulin secretion and glucose tolerance.
Right now, our lab is focusing on knocking out different mechanisms in that pathway, for example dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP-4), glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1), and gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP) to try to understand the critical keys in the pathway for insulin secretion. We’re using different strands of mice to knockout these genes. From these mice, we perform different tests to determine insulin secretion levels. Our main test are glucose tolerance tests and our second test involves using a Perfiusion machine. This machine allows us to measure insulin secretion in islet cells we obtain from our mice. From here we hope to better understand the pathway to insulin secretion, to better aid type 2 diabetic individuals.