Strategies for restoring β-cell function in diabetic patients would be greatly aided by the ability to target genes, proteins, or small molecules specifically to these cells. Furthermore, the ability to direct imaging agents specifically to β-cells would facilitate diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression. To isolate ligands that can home to β-cells in vivo, we have panned a random phage-displayed 20-mer peptide library on freshly isolated rat islets. We have isolated two 20-mer peptides that bind to islets ex vivo. One of these peptides preferentially homes to the islets of Langerhans in a normal rat with clear differentiation between the endocrine and exocrine cells of the pancreas. Furthermore, this peptide does not target β-cells in a type 2 diabetes animal model, suggesting that the peptide can discriminate between glucose-stimulated insulin secretion-functional and -dysfunctional β-cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism