The primary cilium is a sensory and signaling organelle present on most pancreatic islet endocrine cells, where it receives and interprets a wide range of intra-islet chemical cues, including hormones, peptides, and neurotransmitters. The ciliary membrane possesses a molecular composition distinct from the plasma membrane, with enrichment of signaling mediators including G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), tyrosine kinase family receptors, membrane transporters, and others. When activated, these membrane proteins interact with ion channels and adenylyl cyclases to trigger local Ca2+ and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) activity and transmit signals to the cell body. Here we review evidence supporting the emerging model in which primary cilia on pancreatic islet cells play a central role in the intra-islet communication network and discuss how changes in cilia-mediated paracrine function in islet cells might lead to diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100505
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrine and Metabolic Research
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Islet
  • Primary cilia
  • Signaling


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