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Identification of surface receptors of senescent beta cells

Grant number: 24/00451-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2024
Effective date (End): September 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Histology
Principal Investigator:Luis Antonio Justulin Junior
Grantee:Ana Beathriz Leite Lorente
Supervisor: Cristina Aguayo-Mazzucato
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil
Research place: Harvard University, Boston, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:23/06412-0 - Evaluation of the proteomic profile of pancreatic islets isolated from offspring rats submitted to maternal malnutrition: possible relationships with metabolism, BP.MS


The increase in the aging population has led to the emergence of chronic diseases such as metabolic syndromes (MS), characterized by a complexity of risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). T2DM has become one of the most prevalent chronic diseases of our time, defined by elevated blood glucose concentrations resulting from insulin resistance, impairments in insulin secretion or the association of both. The loss and/or dysfunction of insulin-producing cells (beta cells) is a signature of diabetes, and the accumulation of senescent beta cells contributes to its pathology. Investigating molecular senescence mechanisms and signaling pathways in beta cells is crucial for advancing therapeutic approaches across different diabetes types. This project specifically aims to identify surface receptors of senescent beta-cells in a mouse transgenic model and pancreatic human tissue. For that, we will track senescent beta cells by separating p21+ cells from p21-cells. Then, we will investigate their mRNA and protein levels using markers expressed in senescent beta cells, found through RNA-Seq, and validate the findings in human pancreatic islets. The insights derived from this study are deemed essential for understanding markers of beta cell senescence.

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