Glucose-stimulated pancreatic islets show α cell mass dependent fast and slow Ca2+ oscillations. It implicates structure-function relationship is a fundamental principle of pancreatic islets. Despite the low percentage within the islet, the δ cells entangle with α cells and occupy the islet periphery, to envelop the β cells in the core. However, the contribution of the extensive δ-α paracrine organization to the origin of the variability in Ca2+ activation, remains unclear. Here we found that somatostatin’s perturbation on Ca2+ oscillation critically depended on α cell mass. Furthermore, pharmacological and opto-geneticalperturbation on δ-α cell interaction cause islets to repeatably show fast and slow Ca2+ oscillations. Our study highlights the importance of δ-α cell interactions as the origin of the variability in oscillation pattern. Studying islets in their intact pancreas morphology in tissue slice revealed that glucose recruited the δ cells to control the α and β cell activity.


H.Ren: None.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at