Jonathan Rocheleau, PhD

Interaction between pancreatic islets and vascular endothelial cells is necessary for the maintenance of beta-cell mass and function. Aside from acting as a conduit for molecular oxygen, vascular endothelial cells in vivo secrete the majority of islet extracellular matrix (ECM). This ECM likely provides a permissive signal for beta-cell proliferation, contributing to the coordinated hyperplasia of these tissues during the early stages of Type 2 diabetes. This ECM also provides a reservoir for heparin binding growth factors that further modulate this hyperplasia, including fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). We hypothesize that communication between beta-cells and vascular endothelial cells directs the proliferation and function of both tissues.

To examine beta-cell-vascular endothelial cell interaction, my lab uses a number of cutting-edge techniques: two-photon excitation microscopy, confocal microcopy, microfluidics, and live cell imaging of fluorescent proteins. Current projects use cell culture and ex vivo pancreatic islet models. These studies will advance our understanding of pancreatic islet communication, with a specific focus on the communication between beta-cell and vascular endothelial cells through FGF/FGFR1-signaling.

Related Links

J Biol Chem. 2018 Sep 14;:
Regeenes R, Silva PN, Chang HH, Arany EJ, Shukalyuk AI, Audet J, Kilkenny DM, Rocheleau JV
J Am Chem Soc. 2016 09 14;138(36):11583-98
Shivnaraine RV, Fernandes DD, Ji H, Li Y, Kelly B, Zhang Z, Han YR, Huang F, Sankar KS, Dubins DN, Rocheleau JV, Wells JW, Gradinaru CC
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017 Jun 07;:
Green BJ, Kermanshah L, Labib M, Ahmed SU, Silva PN, Mahmoudian L, Chang IH, Mohamadi RM, Rocheleau JV, Kelley SO
Cell Rep. 2017 Mar 07;18(10):2301-2309
Filippi BM, Abraham MA, Silva PN, Rasti M, LaPierre MP, Bauer PV, Rocheleau JV, Lam TK
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Dec 12;:
Chen YY, Silva PN, Syed AM, Sindhwani S, Rocheleau JV, Chan WC
Lab Chip. 2016 Jul 5;
Silva PN, Atto Z, Regeenes R, Tufa U, Chen YY, Chan WC, Volchuk A, Kilkenny DM, Rocheleau JV
Elife. 2016 May 6;5
Shivnaraine RV, Kelly B, Sankar KS, Redka DS, Han YR, Huang F, Elmslie G, Pinto D, Li Y, Rocheleau JV, Gradinaru CC, Ellis J, Wells JW
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Feb 16;
Sykes EA, Dai Q, Sarsons CD, Chen J, Rocheleau JV, Hwang DM, Zheng G, Cramb DT, Rinker KD, Chan WC



Associate Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, University of Toronto