Beta testing adenosine receptor agonists
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have used a zebrafish screen to identify an adenosine receptor agonist that improved both b cell regeneration and glucose control in diabetic mice.1 The discovery could open up a new indication for a class of compounds that until now have been developed mainly for inflammatory and cardiovascular disorders.
Despite efforts to discover small molecules that trigger regeneration of insulin-secreting b cells, the compounds have eluded diabetes drug developers because in vitro screens generally cannot reflect the complex, interrelated pathways and multiple types of progenitor cells that take part in b cell development.
Thus, a UCSF team led by Didier Stainier and Olov Andersson turned to a phenotype-based in vivo screen. "It allows for the discovery of compounds that target various cellular mechanisms of regeneration, which is important because regeneration of b cells can potentially occur through several mechanisms," Andersson told SciBX.
Stainier is professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF. Andersson has