Live-cell imaging of glucose-induced metabolic coupling of β and α cell metabolism in health and type 2 diabetes

Commun Biol. 2021 May 19;4(1):594. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02113-1.


Type 2 diabetes is characterized by β and α cell dysfunction. We used phasor-FLIM (Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy) to monitor oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis in living islet cells before and after glucose stimulation. In healthy cells, glucose enhanced oxidative phosphorylation in β cells and suppressed oxidative phosphorylation in α cells. In Type 2 diabetes, glucose increased glycolysis in β cells, and only partially suppressed oxidative phosphorylation in α cells. FLIM uncovers key perturbations in glucose induced metabolism in living islet cells and provides a sensitive tool for drug discovery in diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Glucagon-Secreting Cells / drug effects
  • Glucagon-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Glycolysis
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Transgenic


  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
  • Glucose