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Exocrine damage leads to a loss of beta cell function in a zebrafish model

Leinenga, Emma (2024) Exocrine damage leads to a loss of beta cell function in a zebrafish model. Bachelor's Research Project (period 2b), Biology.


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Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting the beta cells in the endocrine pancreas, impairing insulin production. Recent T1D research has taken a turn towards the role of the exocrine pancreas in the disease. We focused on the effects of exocrine damage on beta cell function in a zebrafish model (Danio rerio). Previous research has found correlations between exocrine dysfunction and T1D, but a causal relationship of one leading to the other has yet to be illustrated. We visualised the beta cells by staining insulin using indirect immunofluorescence. Other antigens have also been tested, such as elastase, glucagon, amylase, trypsin and L-plastin. We optimised the existing protocol and found that methanol fixation is a necessary step in whole-mount immunostaining. An exocrine damage model was made by using a double transgenic zebrafish line expressing nitroreductase (NTR) in the exocrine pancreas, which reduces nifurpirinol (NFP) to cytotoxic products. The functional beta cell count was quantified and we found that exocrine damage affects the function of beta cells in this zebrafish model. This finding is significant for T1D research as it brings us one step closer to finding a cause related to the exocrine pancreas or developing a preventative treatment.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Research Project (period 2b))
Supervisor name: Hoogaars, W.M.H. and Giepmans, B.N.G.
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Research Project (period 2b)
Language: English
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2024 09:04
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2024 09:04

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