Talk:2017 Group 1 Project

From CellBiology

2017 Projects: Group 1 - Delta | Group 2 - Duct | Group 3 - Beta | Group 4 - Alpha

Group Assessment Criteria

  1. The key points relating to the topic that your group allocated are clearly described.
  2. The choice of content, headings and sub-headings, diagrams, tables, graphs show a good understanding of the topic area.
  3. Content is correctly cited and referenced.
  4. The wiki has an element of teaching at a peer level using the student's own innovative diagrams, tables or figures and/or using interesting examples or explanations.
  5. Evidence of significant research relating to basic and applied sciences that goes beyond the formal teaching activities.
  6. Relates the topic and content of the Wiki entry to learning aims of cell biology.
  7. Clearly reflects on editing/feedback from group peers and articulates how the Wiki could be improved (or not) based on peer comments/feedback. Demonstrates an ability to review own work when criticised in an open edited wiki format. Reflects on what was learned from the process of editing a peer's wiki.
  8. Evaluates own performance and that of group peers to give a rounded summary of this wiki process in terms of group effort and achievement.
  9. The content of the wiki should demonstrate to the reader that your group has researched adequately on this topic and covered the key areas necessary to inform your peers in their learning.
  10. Develops and edits the wiki entries in accordance with the above guidelines.

Cells of the Pancreas  
The Endocrine Pancreas The Exocrine Pancreas
(pancreatic islets or islets of Langerhans)

NCBI Bookshelf Resources

Development Sources

Examples of Database searches  
Database Example search Wiki code (note - copy text when in Read mode)
Pubmed (all databases) pancreas [ ''pancreas'']
Pubmed pancreas [ ''pancreas'']
Pubmed 5 most recent references[1] <pubmed limit=5>pancreas</pubmed>
Pubmed Central pancreas [ ''pancreas'']
Pubmed Central (images) pancreas [ ''pancreas'']
PLoS (Public Library of Science) pancreas [ ''pancreas'']
BioMed Central pancreas [ ''pancreas'']
BMC Cell Biology pancreas [ ''pancreas'']
BMC Developmental Biology pancreas [ ''pancreas'']
Biology Open (BiO) pancreas [ ''pancreas'']
  1. Note the references appear where the code is pasted and will be updated each time the page is loaded, and may occasionally list articles that do not appear directly related to the search topic.
About Journal Searches  
The following general information is about the above online databases and journals.

External Links Notice - The dynamic nature of the internet may mean that some of these listed links may no longer function. If the link no longer works search the web with the link text or name.

  • PubMed - comprises more than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
    • PubMed Central (PMC) - is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).
  • Public Library of Science (PLOS) - is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization founded to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.
  • BioMed Central (BMC) - is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher of 291 peer-reviewed open access journals.
    • BMC Developmental Biology - is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on the development, growth, differentiation and regeneration of multicellular organisms, including molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and whole organism research.
    • Reproductive Health - is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal focusing on all aspects of human reproduction.
    • Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology (RB&E) - aims to act as a forum for the dissemination of results from excellent research in the reproductive sciences. RB&E represents a global platform for reproductive and developmental biologists, reproductive endocrinologists, immunologists, theriogenologists, infertility specialists, obstetricians, gynecologists, andrologists, urogynecologists, specialists in menopause, reproductive tract oncologists, and reproductive epidemiologists.
  • Biology Open (BiO) - is an online-only Open Access journal that publishes peer-reviewed original research across all aspects of the biological sciences, including cell science, developmental biology and experimental biology.


Project Edits


  • Z5016456 - 9 images
  • Z5075505 - 7 images
  • Z3429175 - 4 images

General Comments

  • Good figure and text balance.
  • In-depth coverage of this topic including relevant research articles.
  • General project page layout is clearly organised. Balance between text and image elements throughout page.
  • Historical events table a good inclusion showing timeline of discoveries.
  • Extensive glossary.
  • Project reference list - multiple entries for same reference.
  • Videos useful inclusion in collapsible tables.
    • Video Explanation of Diabetes Mellitus by Osmosis - very good video whiteboard explanation.
    • Top Video Explanation of Acute Pancreatitis Pathogenesis by Osmosis does not load or play
    • Why are there 2 videos with the same title?

Group Updates

Group meeting 23/05

To do:

  • Images- somatostatin structure, pathology, gross anatomy?, fix size of made pic
  • Embed videos- overview of pancreatic function and external histology video
  • Formatting- particularly with images
  • Standardise- SST, T1/T2DM, symbols for β, δ, etc., subheadings- get rid of big delta heading
  • Update glossary
  • Proof-read and fix- z5016456 Thursday morning, z5075505 Thursday 2-4pm, z3429175 Thursday night

Z5016456 1. Abnormalities of delta cells 2. Current literature and focus of modern research

Z3429175 1. Background/Introduction 2. Signalling 3. Cell-matrix interactions

Z5075505 1. Development 2. Structure 3. Function

From the group meeting on 9.5.17

  • reorder subheadings
  • cut down pathology headings?
  • time line for background
  • compare animal and human delta cells in the structure subheading
  • brief description of videos on the page
  • cut down on the percentages in the background subheading (move this into an intro subheading at the very top)
  • reference 13

- fix grammar errors (will be done at the end of the project, spellchecks etc.)

- text should be referred to the images uploaded

- improve the structure of the sentences

- rearrange the signalling and development sections

- focus specifically on one of the stated percentages

- divide the background section to introduction and history of delta cells

- signalling and development (overlapping contents)


Just in general:

  • if you use complex/specific terms it'd be useful to include to a glossary of the terms
  • if you crop a figure mention the original figure that you cropped it from
  • info associated with the images we upload can be written onto the image file page e.g. explaining what a certain abbreviation on an image is or what a protein does etc. (see Mark's pancreatic development image)
  • check for the copyrights info for images before uploading them as not all images are allowed to be reused.
  • article for innervation <pubmed>PMC3135265</pubmed>
  • analogies/explanations and interesting facts


  • OMIM database
  • This review has a small section on D-cells and somatostatin in diabetes pp. 584-586 <pubmed>PMC4530398</pubmed>


  • when it was identified
  • key landmarks
  • go all the way up to the most current significant discovery


  • Autocrine, endocrine and paracrine.
  • how each of these signalling process occur e.g. what molecules are involved, which receptors are used
  • any other functions other than the main (somatostatin)?
  • maybe mention that there are other somatostatin-secreting delta cells in the body
  • 3d structure of hormone (image)
  • is it a free hormone in serum or carried by carrier protein
  • how is somatostatin broken down, stored and secreted


  • what are the mechanisms used?
  • explain the signalling cascade or pathways that are involved.
  • what are the stimuli and effector molecules involved?
  • the function of the pathways involved in signalling (ex. pancreas development, cell proliferation)

Cell matrix interactions:

  • What is the role of Cholecystokinin B receptor in delta cells?
  • What is the role of the Muscarinic acetylcholine receptopr M3 in delta cells in the stomach?
  • Effects of vasoactive intestinal peptide on delta cells.


  • do islets continue to develop postnatally?
  • do delta cells die in old age?
  • what pathways and genes and signalling mechanisms trigger and contribute to development i.e. if we use stem cells, we can figure out how to turn them into delta cells specifically (a diagram may be useful here) - "An integrated cell purification and ... regulators of pancreatic development" - Cecil et al.
  • is there an animal model that explores development?
  • differentiation from early embryonic cells
  • development of the islet (with a focus on delta cells)
  • how does development vary across species
  • the relative abundance of delta cells in islets (across species?)
  • location within the islet (periphery, centre?) – how does this distribution vary across species
  • Article that might be helpful for Development:

<pubmed>26729103</pubmed> (which also includes Notch signalling), this will explained more in details under the Signalling subheading.


Lab 2 Assessment


  • Paper 1 <pubmed>18984743</pubmed>

Findings: This study explores the role of somatostatin (SST) secreted by pancreatic δ-cells on the function of α- and β-cells. It stems from the knowledge that exogenous SST has an inhibitory effect on insulin and glucagon secretion by these cells. Using a radioimmunoassay on SST knockout mouse models, it was found that absence of δ-cell-derived SST resulted in increased levels of insulin and glucagon in islets in vitro. The influence of exogenous SST in vivo proved difficult to completely remove but the study states both in vivo and in vitro measurements of hormone secretion indicated an inhibitory effect associated with SST secreted by δ-cells.

Relevance: Provides information on the paracrine role of δ-cells.

  • Paper 2 <pubmed>10898757</pubmed>

Findings: This study highlights the effect of pancreatic cholecystokinin (CCK) interaction with CCK(A) receptors on enzyme secretion and cell proliferation within the organ. It used various techniques to assess whether CCK binding to the second receptor, CCK(B), produced similar results. Through the analysis of rat, mouse, pig and human pancreatic islets it was determined that CCK(B) receptors are found specifically, and in high numbers, on foetal human δ-cells.

Relevance: Provides information on the structure of δ-cells.

  • Paper 3 <pubmed>11060127</pubmed>

Findings: Paper 3 describes the electrophysical activities of pancreatic δ-cells in situ. Of relevance to our sub-topic; the experimental findings indicate that somatostatin release by these cells occurs through Ca2+-dependent exocytosis. This conclusion was based on the increased electrical activity of δ-cells observed when they were exposed to hyperglycaemic conditions.

Relevance: Provides information on factors that regulate δ-cell activity.

  • Paper 4 <pubmed>9450250</pubmed>

Findings: This is a very small study on the development of pancreatic δ-cells in rats. An analysis of foetal rat pancreases at various ages showed the movement of δ-cells from an even distribution across islets at 12-13 days, to a peripheral organisation at day 17. They then migrated further, with some cells found in the pancreatic duct system. δ-cells appeared later than α-cells and around the same time as β-cells.

Relevance: Provides basic information on the changing organisation of δ-cells during development of the pancreas.


  • 1<pubmed>27530443</pubmed>

Human pancreatic islets represents distinctive fomation in which α and δ cells are particularly found at the area of peripheral and perivascular. Fetal islets establish first in two distinct types comprise of β or α/δ cells, correspondingly.The α/δ islets turn out to perform a primary function for the progression, in the direction towards the fusion partner dynamically. This article touches on the development of delta cells.

  • 2<pubmed>10476967</pubmed>

The pancreas comprises of exocrine and endocrine cells. However, the molecular techniques regulating the differentiation of these cell types are generally undetermined. Pancreatic endocrine cells share quite a few molecular aspects with neurons and differentiating endocrine cells in the pancreas are found to be scattered within progenitor cells. This illustrates that they may be produced by lateral arrangement through Notch signalling. This paper explains further in details about the signalling of the cells in the developing pancreas.

  • 3<pubmed>19817798</pubmed>

The islets of Langerhans creating the endocrine pancreas are made up of alpha, beta, delta, epsilon and PP cells. Communications between these cells are needed for adjustment of glucose homeostasis of the body. This review argues on how islet hormones, released molecules and ions affects the endocrine cells and in addition to that, how cell adhesion molecules as well as extracellular matrix proteins, modify the function of pancreatic islet. This review article provides information on the cell matrix interactions.

  • 4<pubmed>27408771</pubmed>

The researcher detected that the ghrelin receptor is expressed particularly by delta cells within the islet, which was firmly established by fluorescent in situ hybridization and qPCR. Ghrelin engages delta cells in order to stimulate local inhibitory feedback that reduces insulin release instead of engaging to delta cells directly. This paper explains the activation of delta cells by ghrelin.


<pubmed> 25585597</pubmed>

The circadian clock and melatonin has a known effect on pancreatic islets. Indeed, whilst the inhibitory effects of melatonin upon insulin secretion from α-cells is well known, melatonin-mediated effects on islet δ-cells had been previously unstudied. In this experiment, analysis of a human pancreatic δ-cell model, cell line QGP-1, and the use of a somatostatin-specific radioimmunoassay demonstrated that melatonin primarily has an inhibitory effect on somatostatin secretion when in the physiological concentration range. Interestingly, in the pharmacological range, melatonin elicited slightly increased somatostatin release from δ-cells. Somatostatin levels released from the δ-cells at low glucose concentrations was significantly inhibited during co-incubation with 1 nm melatonin, an effect which was less pronounced at higher glucose levels.
These results indicate that melatonin has a significant effect on both pancreatic δ-cells and somatostatin release.


Somatostatin secretion from islet δ-cells plays an important role in regulating islet function and is tightly controlled by environmental changes. Activation of the adrenergic system promoted somatostatin secretion from islet δ-cells; however, the role of the adrenergic system in regulating somatostatin content and transcription had not previously been defined. An imbalance between the somatostatin content and its secretion may cause dysfunctions in the islet δ-cells, thus this study investigated the role of the adrenergic system in the modulation of somatostatin content and transcription in pancreatic δ-cells and the detailed underlying mechanisms of this regulation. Adrenaline-specific adrenergic agonists or specific adrenergic antagonists were applied to islets from either wild-type or specific adrenergic receptor knockout mice and pancreatic δ-cell lines to investigate their effects on somatostatin content and transcription. Adrenaline and isoprenaline increased somatostatin content and transcription through the activation of β1-/β2-adrenergic receptors (β1-/β2ARs). The somatostatin content in knockout mice was 50% lower than in wild-type mice.
It was found that dysfunction of β-adrenergic agonism may impair pancreatic δ-celll function.


Goto-Kakizaki rat models of diabetes have frequently demonstrated reduced β-cell mass within pancreatic islets, however, knowledge of δ-cells has been scarce. The present study aimed to compare δ-cell physiology and pathology within these models to Wistar rats, and found that the δ-cell number increased over time with amplified somatostatin mRNA and δ-cell distribution in pancreatic islets in diabetic rat models. A disruption of cytoarchitecture was observed over time with the maturation of the rats, with irregular β-cells accompanied by δ-cell hyperplasia and loss of pancreatic polypeptide positivity. Whilst somatostatin was seen to increase over time, glucose-stimulation index decreased, with a similar decrease in rat body weight and an increase in hyperglycaemia.
This study concluded a significant local δ-cell hyperplasia and suspected paracrine effect of somatostatin diminishing β-cell viability and contributing to the deterioration of β-cell mass.


Whilst the homeodomain transcription factor HHEX (hematopoietically expressed homeobox) has been repeatedly linked to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) using genome-wide association studies, it has previously been unknown as to whether it is involved in glycemic control. The present study found that HHEX was selectively expressed in the δ cells of the adult endocrine pancreas. By using two mouse models with HHEX deficiency, it was shown that HHEX is required for δ-cell differentiation. Decreased somatostatin levels in HHEX-deficient islets cause disrupted paracrine the inhibition of insulin release from β-cells, identifying HHEX as the first transcriptional regulator specifically required for islet δ cells.
This suggests that compromised paracrine control is a contributor to T2DM.

Peer Assessment

Group 1 (Delta Cells)

Positive - (1) Great use of youtube videos in explaining the concepts, but it would also be great to give a summary underneath each youtube video to give an idea of what the video is about. The videos are also at a good educational level, being not too difficult or easy for viewers to understand. (2) Functions section is well organized into sub headings, makes it easier for the reader to understand. (3) Excellent “current research” section, very nicely explained - making new delta cells from acing cells. the images also are linked with the passage to assist in learning. Negative - (1) Too many headings, sub headings, sub sub headings. This can be a bit confusing and segmented in the flow of the information. (2) Overall - Adequate research seems to have been conducted in specific headings for delta cells, especially current research section and signaling/cell-matrix interactions. Excellent use of images and videos as learning materials. One suggestion is to cut down the amount of sub-sub headings as they can be quite distracting and may seem like it’s a separate heading of its own, instead of linking it to the main heading.

Group 1 (Delta Cells)

On first look at this Group project you can see that you have an extensive content of headings and sub headings which are good, although these are slightly repetitive and could be cut down slightly. So far, there is good use of videos from YouTube and 1 image which is useful and easy to read and there seems to be significant research into function and cell matrix interactions. It could be worth considering re-ordering your subheadings, for example putting signalling and cell matrix interactions before pathology as this knowledge may give a better understanding of why diseases arise? More images could be added and adding a few images made by you for the signalling would be a good way to have images and relay information. Sub-headings such as Structure and current research could do with some more research and although the diseases have videos there needs to be more information here – but I’m sure this is just not been done yet. The background/introduction could have some additional information, at the moment I don’t think it gives a an easy to read introduction to Delta Cells. Overall, I think this is a good start to the project as there is a lot of information.

Group 1

By far your page definitely seems to be progressing very well compared to the other groups, which is great to see. So far the content seems to be very well researched and referenced correctly throughout. There are slight grammatical errors I’ve come across; however this is a first draft so perhaps ensure a thorough editing is done a few times between the members to ensure minor errors are caught. I found your sub-sections to thoroughly cover the topic, and was impressed by the mix of formatting that was used to display the information which other groups had not done, such as the use of tables to display signs and symptoms. Although it is an interesting and unique display of information, a suggestion could be to create collapsible tables for each disease, and incorporating pathogenesis and treatment into the table, this may help keep the page less cluttered. Also perhaps a history of the cell; for example major discoveries and first electron micrographs, might be another subsection to consider.

I found the images associated with the text to be informative and added to the content nicely. However, a suggestion for the images may be to insert the images as a thumbnail in order to be able to insert a caption to the project page; [[File:filename|thumbnail|caption]]; where it is italicised is where you would insert the image’s caption on to the page, instead of the text underneath the image as you’ve done for the “Signalling” image, or instead of the lack of caption done for the “Current Research” image. Another adjustment for the signalling image might be to directly refer to the image within the text; for example “ seen in Figure 1.”

Overall I think your page is coming together nicely with a dimension that the other groups have not met; utilising tables, images and videos in a different way. Aside from a few minor adjustments and of course adding more content, images and filling out each of the sub-sections thoroughly, I feel your project is very well done so far.

Group 1:

Upon first glance, it is evident that this group has made a lot of consistent progress on the project, which is definitely commendable. A quick check of the history page further reveals that all three team members have been fulfilling their delegated tasks and contributing towards the project, which is also very great to see and a testament to this group’s cooperation and successful interaction. With regards to the contents of the page, indeed I agree with the listed subheadings and do believe that it is important to explain the ‘background’, ‘structure’, ‘function’, etc. of delta cells. However, I would recommend researching additional information regarding the ‘history’ of the delta cell – i.e., when it was first discovered and in which organism, what was it first named, who first named it and so on. The inclusion of this would allow audiences from a non-science background to gain a deeper understanding of the origins of the delta cell.

I am glad to see comparisons between humans and animals in the ‘functions’ section of the project, as I do believe that there is a lot of insight to be gained by comparing delta cells across two organisms. I would definitely recommend a similar comparison in the ‘structure’ section so that audiences can be informed whether or not the morphology of the delta cell is congruent throughout different organisms. The inclusion of videos and images within the latter half of the project adds an interactive dimension to the project, which I personally believe is a good thing as it provides readers with a break from reading dense information. The text to visual-aid ratio throughout the first half of the project (‘background’ to ‘pathology’) however, is uneven and in favour of text so I would encourage more images or tables here – ideally a few anatomical pictures of the delta cell should be included in the ‘structure’ section.

In regards to referencing, I believe this has been done correctly so well done. In comparison to all of the other groups, this group also has the highest amount of references, a sizeable 20, which is quite good at this stage and additionally an indication of broad research conducted for the topic. While the readability of the project is mostly well, some sentences are weak and require revision. I do believe that editing previously completed work and rephrasing certain fragments of information can add a level of sophistication to the project. For example, a sentence in the ‘background’ section currently reads: “However, more current studies have significantly shown a decrease in numbers of β cells and an increase in numbers of α cells.” I recommend revising this sentence to improve its coherency. Perhaps something along the lines: “Nonetheless, recent studies have revealed a substantial decrease in the quantity of beta cells present within pancreatic Islets of Langerhans alongside a sizeable increase in the number of alpha cells.” To further improve the sentence, one could disclose the specific percentage by which the cells increased or decreased rather than mentioning a general trend. Nevertheless, on a positive note, the general flow of the project, and the order in which information is presented, is great. I would like to congratulate this group on their good work so far and while there is a large amount of work still required to be done before the project can be considered complete, thus far this group has the most content on their page and therefore, by extension, is overall the most informative and highest-quality project of the three projects which I am peer-reviewing. Solid work so far.

Group 1 (Delta):

Positive: (1) I love the idea of including short, informative videos on the page. Videos are a great way to teach. They’re quick and easy to understand since you are watching and listening to the information at the same time. One suggestion I have would be to add a brief description above or below each of the videos to let the viewers know what each video is about before watching it. Another suggestion would be to perhaps add copyright information below each video (similar to what we do with images)? (2) I also really like that information on signs and symptoms of each of the diseases are placed in a table. It’s an organized way to put information together. It also helps to capture the attention of the viewers and they are more likely to read them. Negative/ suggestions: (1) There are too many headings and subheadings. This can be confusing or overwhelming for some viewers. Decreasing the amount of subheadings on the page will make it appear more organized and easier for viewers to follow through. (2) Some of the sections are written/ typed in different styles. For instance, information under Cell Morphology are in bullets while others aren’t. Keeping the overall text in the same style will help improve the overall look of the page. It will look more organized and the information will flow better. Overall: Compared to the other groups, your project is the most progressed. You have a lot of good information on cell matrix interactions and pathology. You’ve also incorporated, tables, images, and videos nicely into the text. Continue to add more information to the Cell Structure and Development, as well as to the Glossary. Also, work on organizing your contents. Great job so far!

Group 1 Peer Review Overall it appears you have a lot of information and the page is well structured with different headings and subheadings. The background information was a good general summary and included the function of all the secretary cells in the pancreas. However it focused a lot on the percentages of the cells in the Langerhans too extensively. I recommend choosing just one of the stated percentages. I think a history section would be beneficial rather than the background paragraph. The development information was brief, however was all very relevant and succinct information. I did see that you discussed more developmental information further in the page under the signalling heading. I recommend joining this information together so they are under one heading. I can see that there is more information to come for the structure section, but what you do have is very well layed out and well described. I liked how you referred to another section of the page so it all comes together. The functions information was very thorough and detailed and well referenced. I recommend including a diagram so it is easier to follow. The pathology section was super informative and easy to follow. I liked the inclusion of the videos and the tables. However I do recommend having a summary of each video and some more information about the pathological processes of each disease. Overall, well done, your project is very progressed and top quality.

Group1 delta cell peer review: The contents are very well organized, the project contains figures and videos, because of that project is easy to understand and straight forward, also the contents are very detailed, especially pathology gives us information about 3 main pathologies. Function part covers very detailed information, this part explains the function and terms to easy to understand. However, reference 13 is reviewed article, but there is no mention about reviewed article in the paragraph. I might suggest that to easy to read, signaling part could follow after development part, and interaction part could be in the part of the structure with receptor subheading. So far group 1 put many contents and most references, and when they focus on the editing, the final project will be a very good quality.

Group 1

The overall layout and format of the page is structured well, with headings and subheadings relevant to the topic area. It shows a comprehensive understanding into the areas that need to be researched in relation to delta cells. The information provided is relevant and shows extensive research. The use of videos and and tables is a good mode of interactive learning and is engaging. The background section is a good start to the page, however at the moment is very brief is describing the background to delta cells. The majority of the content in this section discusses the proportion of islet cells, which perhaps should be discussed in another section. Consider looking at the background section instead as an introduction which would cover background as well as a brief look into delta cells. The development and structure section seems to still be coming along, and the content so far is good, particularly the comparison with other islet cells. Also, I like how connections have been made to other sections. The function section is quite comprehensive however the format of the content could be enhanced with the addition of more diagrams, the same applies for the cell-matrix interactions section. The pathology section has been covered well, and whilst it hasn't yet been completed, I can see by the layout as to what information is to come. The inclusion of a glossary at the end of the page is an excellent idea and is perfect to accommodate learning, however this should be used more, I noticed that in quite a few sections there are abbreviations with their explanation, consider taking out the explanation and including the abbreviation in the glossary. Overall a good job so far.

Group 1 This webpage looks really interesting and informative. All the headings look suitable, detailed and are well supported with great content and other features. Using tables and videos under Pathology section for each disease really make the information easier to look at and understand. Overall, once more information is added to the website, this project will look really nice.