Fetal Development

The development of the islet microcirculation during normal and adverse pregnancies

The pancreatic islets are highly vascularized structures with a dense capillary network, containing up to 10x more fenestrations between vascular endothelial cells compared to the surrounding exocrine tissue.  However, recent studies examining the islet microvasculature have shown that as diabetes develops, the vessel density decreases and the architecture becomes more disorganized. We are using novel imaging methodologies (including CLARITY – link to Deisseroth lab) to examine the pancreatic islet macro and microcirculations at different stages of fetal development.