Knowledge of how cells communicate is a key way to understand many biological systems and diseases. A research team led by researchers at the University of Gothenburg has now used a unique combination of methods to map the equipment behind cellular communications. Their results could explain the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes.
We know that human communication is important, but communication between the cells in our bodies is just as crucial. The processes by which cells synchronize and coordinate their behavior are necessary for an organism to function and for organs to be able to perform their functions.
“How do cells go from monologues to conversations? How do cells move from functioning as individuals to being a community? We need to better understand the complex and difficult behavior to study this, “said Caroline Beck Adiels, senior lecturer in the Department. Physics at the University of Gothenburg.
Locate the equipment behind cell communications
She is responsible for the study now published in the scientific journal PNAS, in which the researchers established a method for studying cellular communication. In the study, they successfully mapped the apparatus behind cell communication in the metabolic process, using small culture chambers that allow control of the environment around the cells.
The researchers chose to study yeast cells, because they are similar to human cells, and the focus is on glycolytic oscillations – a series of chemical reactions during metabolism where the accumulation of substances can compress or oscillate. The study showed how cells that were above independent of each other moved to become more synchronous, creating numbers of cells with partial synchronization.
“One of the unique things about this study is that we are able to study individual cells instead of just whole cell numbers. This allowed us to actually be able to see how the cells are moving from their individual behavior to coordinate with their neighbors.We are able to map their behavior both over time and spatially, that is to say, when something happens and in the cell that, “said Beck Adiels.
Opens opportunities for understanding type 2 diabetes
According to Beck Adiels, this knowledge can be applied to many other biological systems and more complex cells where coordinated cell behavior plays an important role. This type of behavior is also found in cells such as heart muscle cells and in pancreatic cells, which may be an important piece of the puzzle in diabetes research.
“The study can contribute to understanding how pancreatic cells are regulated and how they release insulin, which will help us understand the underlying mechanisms behind type 2 diabetes. “Ultimately, this could contribute to the development of new medicines for the treatment of the disease.”
The study is a collaboration between eight researchers at Swedish and international universities, and Caroline Beck Adiels confirms that this interdisciplinary collaboration has been fundamental in the study of behavioral behavior. -fold cells from multiple perspectives.
“I am very proud of this work, which would not have been possible without our collaboration across subjects,” she says.