News Research

Scanning electron microscopy of human islet cilia

View Content

Primary cilia are vital cell-surface sensory organelles, but their physical dimensions have eluded characterization due to difficulty in isolating and studying these enigmatic structures, especially in human tissues. In the present study, we use a multi-scale surface scanning approach to enable a 3D architectural study of human primary cilia, the first in pancreatic islets and in any human tissue. Results provide a morphometric basis for understanding ciliary function including signaling capacity, axonemal motility, and cell-cell communication.