A Local Counter-Regulatory Motif Modulates the Global Phase of Hormonal Oscillations

Dong Ho Park, Taegeun Song, Danh Tai Hoang, Jin Xu, Junghyo Jo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Counter-regulatory elements maintain dynamic equilibrium ubiquitously in living systems. The most prominent example, which is critical to mammalian survival, is that of pancreatic α and β cells producing glucagon and insulin for glucose homeostasis. These cells are not found in a single gland but are dispersed in multiple micro-organs known as the islets of Langerhans. Within an islet, these two reciprocal cell types interact with each other and with an additional cell type: the δ cell. By testing all possible motifs governing the interactions of these three cell types, we found that a unique set of positive/negative intra-islet interactions between different islet cell types functions not only to reduce the superficially wasteful zero-sum action of glucagon and insulin but also to enhance/suppress the synchronization of hormone secretions between islets under high/normal glucose conditions. This anti-symmetric interaction motif confers effective controllability for network (de)synchronization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1602
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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