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AA Hardikar, MS Karandikar, and RR Bhonde

Pancreatic regeneration after pancreatectomy has been well documented in animal models. However, the phenomenon of pancreatic regeneration in diabetes has not been exploited as yet. We report here the restoration of euglycaemic status in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic BALB/c mice, after 50% pancreatectomy. We observed that, after pancreatectomy, STZ-diabetic mice showed a rapid improvement in glycaemic status, starting from the 8th postoperative day, and remained normoglycaemic throughout a 90-day follow-up study. STZ-induced diabetic and control non-diabetic BALB/c mice underwent pancreatectomy and were monitored regularly for changes in body weight, plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations and histological status of the pancreas. All the pancreatectomised animals showed euglycaemic status from about 20 days after operation, whereas a majority (around 70%) of the diabetic, sham-operated animals died of sustained hyperglycaemia by 20-30 days after operation. Examination of the regenerating pancreas indicated nesidioblastotic activity and supported the theory of a ductal origin of islet stem cells. Islets isolated from the regenerating pancreas showed a progressive increase in islet area (1227.9+/-173.2 micrometer(2) on day 5 compared with 2473.8+/-242.0 micrometer(2) by day 20). The increment in insulin concentrations and subsequent decrement in glycaemia of the diabetic pancreatectomised animals indicate islet neogenesis occurring after the operative insult, leading to a normoglycaemic status, probably recapitulating ontogeny. We have shown that induction of a regenerative stimulus (pancreatectomy) in conditions of STZ-induced diabetes may trigger pancreatic regenerative processes, thereby restoring a functional pancreas, in STZ-diabetic mice.

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M. Saffran, J. B. Field, J. Peña, R. H. Jones, and Y. Okuda


Bovine crystalline insulin, mixed with an absorption enhancer, was loaded by hand into gelatin capsules, which were then coated with an azopolymer designed to deliver the insulin in the upper colon. In 34 experiments with 14 pancreatectomized mongrel dogs of both sexes, the coated capsules were administered orally after a pre-dose period of 1 h. The dogs had cannulae in the portal vein, hepatic vein and femoral artery and Doppler flow probes on the portal vein and hepatic artery. Insulin and food were withdrawn the day before an experiment. Responses measured were plasma glucose, plasma insulin, hepatic glucose production rate, hepatic plasma flow rate and plasma glucagon-like immunoactivity (GLI). Control experiments, with capsules without insulin, produced small changes from 'pre-dose' values. Insulin-containing capsules, without the azopolymer coating, resulted in some early changes consistent with upper gastrointestinal absorption. Single oral doses (66 to 400 nmol/kg) of insulin in completely coated capsules produced peaks of portal plasma insulin and transient decreases in plasma glucose, hepatic glucose production, hepatic plasma flow and plasma GLI. The changes usually began 1·5–2 h after administration of a single dose, and lasted for up to 3 h, but were not significantly related to the dose of insulin. Multiple oral doses of insulin, given at 1·5-h intervals, resulted in multiple peaks of plasma insulin, a continuing dose-dependent fall in plasma glucose to near-euglycaemia with the highest dose, and profound decreases in hepatic glucose production and plasma GLI. These data demonstrate that insulin absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract causes changes in glucose metabolism in the diabetic dog that are consistent with the action of insulin primarily on the liver and that repeated oral doses are necessary to correct the hyperglycaemia.

Journal of Endocrinology (1991) 131, 267–278

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AM Gray and PR Flatt

Agaricus campestris (mushroom) has been documented as a traditional treatment for diabetes. Here the administration of mushroom in the diet (62.5 g/kg) and drinking water (2.5 g/l) countered the hyperglycaemia of streptozotocin-diabetic mice. An aqueous extract of mushroom (1 mg/ml) stimulated 2-deoxyglucose transport (2.0-fold), glucose oxidation (1.5-fold) and incorporation of glucose into glycogen (1.8-fold) in mouse abdominal muscle. In acute 20 min tests, 0.25-1 mg/ml aqueous extract of mushroom evoked a stepwise 3.5- to 4.6-fold stimulation of insulin secretion from the BRIN-BD11 pancreatic B-cell line. This effect was abolished by 0.5 mM diazoxide and prior exposure to extract did not affect subsequent stimulation of insulin secretion by 10 mM L-alanine, thereby negating a detrimental effect on cell viability. The effect of extract was potentiated by 16.7 mM glucose, L-alanine (10 mM) and IBMX (1 mM), and a depolarising concentration of KCl (25 mM) did not augment the insulin-releasing activity of mushroom. Activity of the extract was found to be heat stable, acetone soluble and unaltered by exposure to alkali, but decreased with exposure to acid. Dialysis to remove components with molecular mass < 2000 Da caused a 40% reduction in activity. Sequential extraction with solvents revealed insulin-releasing activity to be greatest in polar fractions. Lack of haemagglutinin activity with extract activity indicated that activity was unlikely to be due to a lectin-mediated event. These results demonstrate the presence of antihyperglycaemic, insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity in A. campestris.

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G Reining, S Baumgartner-Parzer, and W Waldhausl

Hyperglycaemia is known to cause endothelial dysfunction and to promote diabetic angiopathy. Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate the effect of long term incubation (16 +/- 1 days) in 30 mM vs 5 mM glucose on ligand induced translocation of protein kinase C (PKC) in paired cultures of individual isolates of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Cells were stimulated with increasing concentrations of thrombin (0.01, 0.1, 1, 10 and 100 nM) for 30 seconds in the presence of 5 mM and 30 mM glucose, respectively, and analyzed by immunoblotting for PKC-isoforms alpha and epsilon. Stimulation by thrombin of confluent cultures displayed a concentration dependent rise in membrane bound PKC alpha and epsilon. Translocation of PKC alpha by thrombin remained unaffected by high versus normal ambient glucose, whereas translocation of PKC epsilon in cells grown in 30mM glucose was reduced at maximal thrombin concentrations (area under the curve, AUC: 90.4 +/- 7% of control cells; p < 0.008; n = 6) versus control cultures kept in 5mM glucose. In the identical isolates translocation of PKC epsilon was not reduced by 30 mM mannitol used as osmotic control. No change was induced by long term incubation of resting cells with 30 mM vs 5 mM glucose as to total and membrane bound PKC alpha or PKC epsilon. The obtained data suggest modulation by 30 mM glucose of ligand induced PKC translocation in an isoform specific manner, whereas subcellular distribution of PKC isoforms in the absence of thrombin stimulation remains unaffected by 30 mM glucose.

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R H Rao


The effect of glucagon on ACTH secretion was studied in anaesthetized rats injected with either saline (0·1 ml i.m.) or glucagon (0·02 mg/kg i.m.). For the first 90 min after glucagon injection, plasma ACTH fell by 50% from the basal value of 23 ±4 pmol/l (mean ± s.e.m.) to 11 ±2 (P=0·011), after which an abrupt return to baseline occurred (120 min value: 26 ± 2 pmol/l). In saline injected rats, the baseline ACTH value was not significantly different from either the 90 min value or the 120 min value (27 ±3 vs 21 ± 4 and 24 ± 3 pmol/l respectively; P>0·10). Plasma glucose after glucagon peaked at 11·6 ± 1·1 mmol/l by 15 min but subsequently fell rapidly, attaining the baseline by 60 min. Insulin levels increased sharply after glucagon, from 381 ±78 pmol/l to 3172 ±668 pmol/l at 15 min, and plateaued at approximately 1000 pmol/l thereafter. No changes in glucose or insulin were seen in saline injected rats. The magnitude of suppression of ACTH after glucagon was not affected either by sustained hyperinsulinaemia (≃ 1400 pmol/l), induced with continuous glucose infusion to maintain plasma glucose>12 mmol/l, or by pretreatment with the long-acting somatostatin analogue octreotide (50 μg/kg s.c.). However, the return to baseline between 100 and 120 min was prevented both by hyperinsulinaemia induced with sustained hyperglycaemia, and by octreotide. It is postulated that glucagon may inhibit ACTH secretion either by a direct effect on the hypothalamus or indirectly through insulin, which is known to stimulate endogenous somatostatin release.

Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 145, 51–58

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P. R. Conliffe, G. L. Santos, D. R. Varma, and S. Mulay


Diabetic pregnancy is associated with a high incidence of fetal growth abnormalities which cannot be solely ascribed to fetal hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinaemia. We therefore examined the possibility of other contributing factors using rats made diabetic with streptozotocin as the experimental model. Blood serum from virgin diabetic rats and, to a much greater extent, from pregnant diabetic rats inhibited [3H]thymidine incorporation by fetal lung cells in culture in a concentration- and time-dependent manner; cell number was also decreased. The cytotoxic activity of the serum was decreased by treatment of pregnant diabetic rats with insulin. Sera from non-diabetic rats and from rats at 6 h and 24 h after the injection of streptozotocin were not cytotoxic. The cytotoxic activity of diabetic rat serum was retained after dialysis and was not destroyed by heating it for 60 min at 60 °C. Diabetic rat serum antagonized the stimulatory effects of fetal bovine serum, insulin and insulin-like growth factors on thymidine incorporation by lung cells and inhibited corticosterone production by adrenal cells. Ultrafiltration of diabetic rat serum and high-performance gel permeation chromatography in phosphate buffer suggested that the molecular weight of the cytotoxic factor was approximately 40 kDa. However, gel permeation chromatography in 40% acetonitrile of the cytotoxic eluate from reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography using a C18 and C4 column revealed that the cytotoxic factor was a low molecular weight substance, which contained no amino acids. The apparent discrepancy in molecular weights using different separation procedures suggests that the cytotoxic factor is bound to serum proteins. The u.v. spectrum of this factor was different from those of ketone bodies but its exact chemical identity could not be established because of the scarcity of the material. It is suggested that the sera of pregnant diabetic rats and their fetuses contain a cytotoxic factor, which may contribute to fetal developmental abnormalities.

Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 134, 205–214

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P. R. Flatt, C. J. Bailey, P. Kwasowski, T. Page, and V. Marks


Gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), a recognized component of the enteroinsular axis, is raised in the plasma and intestine of obese hyperglycaemic (ob/ob) mice. To evaluate the control of plasma GIP and its role in the hyperinsulinaemia of the ob/ob syndrome, GIP and insulin were determined at different ages in fed mice, and at 10–12 weeks of age after fasting/refeeding and administration of GIP, different nutrients and insulin to mice fasted for 18 h. Plasma GIP and insulin were raised in adult (10- and 20-week-old) compared with younger (3- and 5-week-old) mice, although GIP was not increased in the presence of hyperinsulinaemia at 3 weeks of age. Fasting suppressed and refeeding promptly restored plasma GIP and insulin concentrations. Administration of GIP to mimic postprandial concentrations evoked a marked but transient insulin response which was protracted in the presence of rising hyperglycaemia. Orally administered fat, glucose and amino acids raised GIP concentrations with fat having a particularly strong effect. Glucose and amino acids also evoked prominent increases of insulin, but fat produced only a small rise in insulin in the absence of increasing glucose concentrations. Consistent with glucose-potentiation, a mixture of all three nutrients greatly augmented the insulin response without further increase of plasma GIP. Glucose-induced increase in endogenous insulin and doses of exogenous insulin up to 100 units/kg did not suppress basal, fat-stimulated or glucose-stimulated GIP release. The results indicate that raised GIP concentrations make an important contribution to the hyperinsulinaemia and related metabolic abnormalities of the ob/ob syndrome.

J. Endocr. (1984) 101, 249–256

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The effect of cortisol and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) administration on indices of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism was investigated in the conscious marsupial brush-tailed opossum Trichosurus vulpecula (Kerr).

Short-term (1 h) i.v. infusions of cortisol at 0·02, 0·20 and 1·0 mg/kg/h caused plasma glucose concentration to rise rapidly from the normal range of 106–119 mg/100 ml to 145–163 mg/100 ml at the end of the infusion period without consistent changes in plasma urea, amino acid or free fatty acid (FFA) concentration. Similar infusions of porcine or synthetic ACTH at 0·45 i.u./kg/h increased plasma glucose concentration to similar levels without significant change in plasma urea or amino acid concentration, but with a marked increase in plasma FFA concentration.

Daily injections of 1 mg cortisol acetate/kg for 8 days caused a moderate loss of weight, increased urinary nitrogen excretion and glycosuria in all animals. In one animal it was possible to associate these changes with an increase in plasma cortisol concentration to 8·6 μg/100 ml, and an increase in plasma glucose and urea concentrations to 172 and 52 mg/100 ml, respectively.

Liver glycogen concentrations in normal and 24 h-fasted animals were 5·53 ± 0·73 and 0·20 ± 0·14 g/100 g respectively, and daily i.m. injections of 1 mg cortisol acetate/kg increased the liver glycogen concentration to 3·38 ± 0·63 g/100 g in 24 h-fasted animals.

The erythrocytes contained only small amounts of glucose which increased during cortisol-induced hyperglycaemia.

It is concluded that Trichosurus is highly sensitive to the metabolic effects of glucocorticoids, which resemble those found in eutherian mammals, particularly the rabbit.

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Zhang S-L, X Chen, TJ Hsieh, M Leclerc, N Henley, A Allidina, JP Halle, MG Brunette, JG Filep, SS Tang, Ingelfinger JR, and JS Chan

Clinical and animal studies have shown that treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II (Ang II) receptor antagonists slows the progression of nephropathy in diabetes, indicating that Ang II plays an important role in its development. We have reported previously that insulin inhibits the stimulatory effect of high glucose levels on angiotensinogen (ANG) gene expression in rat immortalized renal proximal tubular cells (IRPTCs) via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (p44/42 MAPK) signal transduction pathway. We hypothesize that the suppressive action of insulin on ANG gene expression might be attenuated in renal proximal tubular cells (RPTCs) of rats with established diabetes. Two groups of male adult Wistar rats were studied: controls and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks post-STZ administration. Kidney proximal tubules were isolated and cultured in either normal glucose (i.e. 5 mM) or high glucose (i.e. 25 mM) medium to determine the inhibitory effect of insulin on ANG gene expression. Immunoreactive rat ANG (IR-rANG) in culture media and cellular ANG mRNA were measured by a specific radioimmunoassay and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay respectively. Activation of the p44/42 MAPK signal transduction pathway in rat RPTCs was evaluated by p44/42 MAPK phosphorylation employing a PhosphoPlus p44/42 MAPK antibody kit. Insulin (10(-7) M) inhibited the stimulatory effect of high glucose levels on IR-rANG secretion and ANG gene expression and increased p44/42 MAPK phosphorylation in normal rat RPTCs. In contrast, it failed to affect these parameters in diabetic rat RPTCs. In conclusion, our studies demonstrate that hyperglycaemia induces insulin resistance on ANG gene expression in diabetic rat RPTCs by altering the MAPK signal transduction pathway.

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Aoife Kiely, Aisling Robinson, Neville H McClenaghan, Peter R Flatt, and Philip Newsholme

Evidence for involvement of toll-like receptors (TLRs) (e.g. TLR4 and TLR2, whose agonists include lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and saturated fatty acids) in altered patterns of signalling in adipose, liver and muscle from animal models of insulin resistance and obesity has been published. We have now extended this area of research and have determined the effects of LPS on cell viability, insulin secretion, insulin signalling and metabolism in a clonal β-cell line. BRIN-BD11 β-cells were treated for 24 h with increasing concentrations of LPS. Chronic (24 h) and acute (20 min) insulin secretion, insulin content and parameters of cell metabolism and insulin signalling were determined. Incubation of BRIN-BD11 cells for 24 h in the presence of increasing concentrations of the TLR4 ligand LPS significantly decreased chronic (24 h) insulin secretion from 1.09±0.19 to 0.76±0.18 μg insulin/mg protein in the presence of 100 ng/ml LPS (P<0.05). There was no change in acute (20 min) stimulated insulin secretion or insulin content. Cell metabolism was not changed. Insulin receptor-β (IRβ) expression levels were increased significantly from 1±0.52 to 8.6±1.83 units (P<0.01), whereas calcineurin activity and Akt phosphorylation were significantly (P<0.01 and P<0.05 respectively) reduced in response to 24 h incubation in the presence of LPS. There was no change in IR substrate-1 protein expression or phosphorylation after 24 h. Further incubation for 24 h in the absence of LPS resulted in the recovery of chronic insulin secretion. The negative β-cell effects of LPS may contribute to hyperglycaemia in vivo.