Zooming in on Diabetes Journal Club April 8, 2021

Zooming in on Diabetes Journal Club April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am
BC Diabetes Research Network

Zooming in on Diabetes Thursday, April 8 at 09:00 am (PST)


Presenter: Anni Zhang, Graduate Student – PhD program, Johnson Lab, Life

Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia (Vancouver)

Title of Paper: Single-Nucleus and In Situ RNA-Sequencing Reveal Cell

Topographies in the Human Pancreas


Abstract: Background & aims: Molecular evidence of cellular heterogeneity in the

human exocrine pancreas has not been yet established because of the local

concentration and cascade of hydrolytic enzymes that can rapidly degrade cells

and RNA upon pancreatic resection. We sought to better understand the

heterogeneity and cellular composition of the pancreas in neonates and adults in

healthy and diseased conditions using single-cell sequencing approaches.

Methods: We innovated single-nucleus RNA-sequencing protocols and profiled

more than 120,000 cells from pancreata of adult and neonatal human donors. We

validated the single-nucleus findings using RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization,

in situ sequencing, and computational approaches. Results: We created the first

comprehensive atlas of human pancreas cells including epithelial and nonepithelial

constituents, and uncovered 3 distinct acinar cell types, with possible implications

for homeostatic and inflammatory processes of the pancreas. The comparison

with neonatal single-nucleus sequencing data showed a different cellular

composition of the endocrine tissue, highlighting the tissue dynamics occurring

during development. By applying spatial cartography, involving cell proximity

mapping through in situ sequencing, we found evidence of specific cell type

neighborhoods, dynamic topographies in the endocrine and exocrine pancreas,

and principles of morphologic organization of the organ. Furthermore, similar

analyses in chronic pancreatitis biopsy samples showed the presence of acinar-

REG+ cells, a reciprocal association between macrophages and activated stellate

cells, and a new potential role of tuft cells in this disease. Conclusions: Our human

pancreas cell atlas can be interrogated to understand pancreatic cell biology and

provides a crucial reference set for comparisons with diseased tissue samples to

map the cellular foundations of pancreatic diseases.

PMID: 33212097

URL link to publication source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33212097


“Zooming in on Diabetes” is a virtual journal club and was launched in March 2020.

It is a joint initiative across the University of British Columbia campuses including the Life Sciences Centre and the BC Children’s Hospital.

This Journal Club is designed for trainees to develop skills in critical evaluation of recent articles in the scientific literature related to diabetes research.

The intended audience are academic research trainees and faculty involved in diabetes research in British Columbia, Canada.

The journal club is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays via ZOOM.

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