UNIT of Cell Physiology and Nutrition

Islet Cell Signaling

Regulation of α, β and δ-Cells

Human Nutrition






Fluorescence and confocal microscopy

In combination with appropriate fluorescent sensors, imaging techniques allow on-line and dynamic analysis of multiple cellular and physiological parameters such as membrane potential, calcium signals, intracellular pH, metabolic redox state, oxidative stress and exocytosis among others. In combination with immunocytochemistry protocols, imaging techniques allow cellular or subcellular location of proteins and structures. Additionally, confocal microscopy can provide information within the islet from optical slices of less than 1 micron.

Voltage-clamp and patch-clamp

Electrical activity is an essential process in the mechanisms involved in hormonal secretion from the main islet cell types. Electrophysiological techniques allow on-line analysis of the cell membrane potential or electrical activity at the single-channel level.

Radioimmunoassay and ELISA

We use these techniques for the measurement of insulin and glucagon secretion.

Molecular and cell biology tools

We analyze changes at protein or genomic level by multiple techniques such as western blot, real-time PCR and interference RNA among others.

Chemical analysis of food constituents

Analysis of trace elements and metals by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Determination of different trace elements with graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). Determination of crude fiber, fat (soxhlet-type extraction) and nitrogen (Kjeldahl method).