Unravelling innervation of pancreatic islets

Rollie F. Hampton, Maria Jimenez-Gonzalez, Sarah A. Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The central and peripheral nervous systems play critical roles in regulating pancreatic islet function and glucose metabolism. Over the last century, in vitro and in vivo studies along with examination of human pancreas samples have revealed the structure of islet innervation, investigated the contribution of sympathetic, parasympathetic and sensory neural pathways to glucose control, and begun to determine how the structure and function of pancreatic nerves are disrupted in metabolic disease. Now, state-of-the art techniques such as 3D imaging of pancreatic innervation and targeted in vivo neuromodulation provide further insights into the anatomy and physiological roles of islet innervation. Here, we provide a summary of the published work on the anatomy of pancreatic islet innervation, its roles, and evidence for disordered islet innervation in metabolic disease. Finally, we discuss the possibilities offered by new technologies to increase our knowledge of islet innervation and its contributions to metabolic regulation. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1084
Number of pages16
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • 3D imaging
  • Innervation
  • Islet
  • Nerve
  • Neuromodulation
  • Pancreas
  • Parasympathetic
  • Review
  • Sensory
  • Sympathetic


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