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Localizing mRNA expression in the pancreatic islet with in situ hybridization

Many laboratories are studying the expression of genes in the pancreatic islet to understand what goes wrong during the development of diabetes. To localize gene expression to the different cell types in the islet we perform in situ hybridization studies. We use probes that bind to specific RNA sequences of the genes of interest. Although powerful, this is a technique that is challenging. In collaboration with Vlad Slepak and Alexey Pronin at the University of Miami, we implemented the RNAscope technology to study the expression of G protein coupled receptors in human pancreas tissues. Shown in the figure is the in situ hybridization signal for glucagon (red) and for the serotonin receptor 5HT1F (green dots) in a human pancreas section. Notice that most of the green signal localizes to the glucagon expressing alpha cells.

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