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Unravelling innervation of pancreatic islets – published online 29/03/2022

hampton graphical abstract

Rollie F. Hampton, Maria Jimenez-Gonzales, Sarah A. Stanley

Recent innovations in 3D imaging and targeted neuromodulation have advanced our understanding of pancreatic innervation. In this issue, Hampton and Jimenez-Gonzalez et al ( summarise recent advances that provide insights into the complex anatomy of pancreatic nerves and their roles in modulating islet hormone release and regulation of glucose metabolism. New imaging technologies provide detailed 3D analyses of pancreatic islet innervation in multiple species and suggest rapid changes in islet nerve structure with metabolic disease. Transgenic and viral approaches now allow unprecedented organ-specific and pathway-specific neuromodulation to assess the functional roles of pancreatic nerves. The authors discuss how these technologies provide an opportunity to advance our understanding of pancreatic innervation, which may identify new approaches to treat metabolic disease. The figures from this review are available as a downloadable slideset.

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