Skip Navigation
Skip to contents

Endocrinol Metab : Endocrinology and Metabolism


Author index

Page Path
Na Han  (Han N) 1 Article
Co-Culture of α TC-6 Cells and β TC-1 Cells: Morphology and Function
Sung Man Kim, Eun Ju Lee, Hye Sook Jung, Na Han, You Jeong Kim, Tae Kyoon Kim, Tae Nyun Kim, Min Jeong Kwon, Soon Hee Lee, Jeong Hyun Park, Byoung Doo Rhee, Mi-Kyung Kim
Endocrinol Metab. 2015;30(1):92-97.   Published online March 27, 2015
  • 4,410 View
  • 71 Download
  • 4 Web of Science
  • 3 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDFPubReader   

In vitro experiments using only β-cell lines instead of islets are limited because pancreatic islets are composed of four different types of endocrine cells. Several recent studies have focused on cellular interactions among these cell types, especially α- and β-cells. Because islet isolation needs time and experience, we tested a simple co-culture system with α- and β-cells. Their morphology and function were assessed by comparison to each single cell culture and pancreatic islets.


α TC-6 cells and β TC-1 cells were maintained in Dulbecco's Minimal Essential Medium containing 5 mM glucose and 10% fetal bovine serum. Cells were mixed at a 1:1 ratio (5×105) in 6-well plates and cultured for 24, 48, and 72 hours. After culture, cells were used for insulin and glucagon immunoassays and tested for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS).


α TC-6 and β TC-1 cells became condensed by 24 hours and were more strongly compacted after 48 hours. β TC-1 cells showed both β-β and β-α cell contacts. GSIS increased with increasing glucose concentration in co-cultured cells, which showed lower secreted insulin levels than β TC-1 cells alone. The increase in the secreted insulin/insulin content ratio was significantly lower for co-cultured cells than for β-cells alone (P=0.04). Compared to islets, the α-/β-cell co-culture showed a higher ratio of GSIS to insulin content, but the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.09).


α TC-6 and β TC-1 cells in the co-culture system showed cell-to-cell contacts and a similar stimulated insulin secretion pattern to islets. The co-culture system may be used to better mimic pancreatic islets in in vitro assessments.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Recent advances in the design of implantable insulin secreting heterocellular islet organoids
    M. Birgul Akolpoglu, Yasemin Inceoglu, Ugur Bozuyuk, Ana Rita Sousa, Mariana B. Oliveira, João F. Mano, Seda Kizilel
    Biomaterials.2021; 269: 120627.     CrossRef
  • Pancreatic β Cells Inhibit Glucagon Secretion from α Cells: An In Vitro Demonstration of α–β Cell Interaction
    Wenqian Gu, Camilla Christine Bundgaard Anker, Christine Bodelund Christiansen, Tilo Moede, Per-Olof Berggren, Kjeld Hermansen, Søren Gregersen, Per Bendix Jeppesen
    Nutrients.2021; 13(7): 2281.     CrossRef
  • The Role of Pancreatic Alpha Cells and Endothelial Cells in the Reduction of Oxidative Stress in Pseudoislets
    Fredrik C. Wieland, Mireille M.J.P.E. Sthijns, Thomas Geuens, Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, Vanessa L.S. LaPointe
    Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.2021;[Epub]     CrossRef
Close layer

Endocrinol Metab : Endocrinology and Metabolism