IBRI RESEARCH PUBLISHED: Beta Cell Imaging—From Pre-Clinical Validation to First in Man Testing

October 01, 2020


There are presently no reliable ways to quantify human pancreatic beta cell mass (BCM) in vivo, which prevents an accurate understanding of the progressive beta cell loss in diabetes or following islet transplantation. Furthermore, the lack of beta cell imaging hampers the evaluation of the impact of new drugs aiming to prevent beta cell loss or to restore BCM in diabetes.

We presently discuss the potential value of BCM determination as a cornerstone for individualized therapies in diabetes, describe the presently available probes for human BCM evaluation, and discuss our approach for the discovery of novel beta cell biomarkers, based on the determination of specific splice variants present in human beta cells. This has already led to the identification of DPP6 and FXYD2ga as two promising targets for human BCM imaging, and is followed by a discussion of potential safety issues, the role for radiochemistry in the improvement of BCM imaging, and concludes with an overview of the different steps from pre-clinical validation to a first-in-man trial for novel tracers.

To read the complete research article, go to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.