Graduate Seminar Series: Cell and Tissue Stream
Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for cell and tissue stream presenters.
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Presentation Title: Defining and validating a pancreatic tissue-specific endothelial cell transcriptional signature
Abstract: The vasculature shows intricate tissue-specific structural and functional heterogeneity. Vessels in the pancreas display specialized structures, called fenestrae, which allow for rapid glucose sensing and response by insulin secreting β-cells. Moreover, intra-islet ECs have been implicated in a unique cross-talk with β-cells, which is essential for their survival and function. We reasoned that a unique, pancreas-specific molecular signature enables ECs to adopt a pancreatic-specific microvascular identity, specializing them to support glucose/Islet function and homeostasis. To uncover this signature, we have performed a meta-analysis of published single-cell and single-nuclei RNA-sequencing datasets of the pancreas. Using multi-organ gene expression atlases we have uncovered and validated a pancreas-specific endothelial gene signature. We also introduce a transcriptomic map of human pancreatic ECs integrating 3 human pancreas EC datasets. We define gene signatures for different vascular bed segments within the pancreas, including 2 unique capillary populations, which are reminiscent of exocrine pancreas ECs and islet-like/endocrine ECs. We have validated our transcriptomic profile using RNAScope and immunofluorescence staining on mouse e18.5 pancreatic tissue cross-sections. Further characterization of our pancreas-specific endothelial gene signatures and vascular subtype signatures within the pancreas will provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms that drive islet EC specialization in glucose homeostasis and their role in diabetes.
Supervisor Name: Sara Vasconcelos
Year of Study: 4
Program of Study: PhD
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89610372821?pwd=azd4SCtYVWtreVovaGNPV1c2NGY2Zz09
Meeting ID: 896 1037 2821
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