Primary cilia as a signaling organelle have garnered recent attention as a regulator of pancreatic islet function. These rod-like sensors exist on all major islet endocrine cell types and transduce a variety of external cues, while dysregulation of cilia function contributes to the development of diabetes. The complex role of islet primary cilia has been examined using genetic deletion targeting various components of cilia. In this review, we summarize experimental models for the study of islet cilia and current understanding of mechanisms of cilia regulation of islet hormone secretion. Consensus from these studies shows that pancreatic cilia perturbation can cause both endocrine and exocrine defects that are relevant to human disease. We discuss future research directions that would further elucidate cilia action in distinct groups of islet cells, including paracrine and juxtacrine regulation, GPCR signaling, and endocrine-exocrine crosstalk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number922983
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
StatePublished - Jun 23 2022


  • hormone regulation
  • insulin secretion
  • pancreatic islets
  • primary cilia
  • β-cells


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