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Alexander Hennebry, Jenny Oldham, Tea Shavlakadze, Miranda D Grounds, Philip Sheard, Marta L Fiorotto, Shelley Falconer, Heather K Smith, Carole Berry, Ferenc Jeanplong, Jeremy Bracegirdle, Kenneth Matthews, Gina Nicholas, Mônica Senna-Salerno, Trevor Watson and Christopher D McMahon

Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and myostatin have opposing roles in regulating the growth and size of skeletal muscle, with IGF1 stimulating, and myostatin inhibiting, growth. However, it remains unclear whether these proteins have mutually dependent, or independent, roles. To clarify this issue, we crossed myostatin null (Mstn −/−) mice with mice overexpressing Igf1 in skeletal muscle (Igf1 +) to generate six genotypes of male mice; wild type (Mstn +/+), Mstn +/−, Mstn −/−, Mstn +/+ :Igf1 +, Mstn +/− :Igf1 + and Mstn −/− :Igf1 +. Overexpression of Igf1 increased the mass of mixed fibre type muscles (e.g. Quadriceps femoris) by 19% over Mstn +/+, 33% over Mstn +/− and 49% over Mstn −/− (P < 0.001). By contrast, the mass of the gonadal fat pad was correspondingly reduced with the removal of Mstn and addition of Igf1. Myostatin regulated the number, while IGF1 regulated the size of myofibres, and the deletion of Mstn and Igf1 + independently increased the proportion of fast type IIB myosin heavy chain isoforms in T. anterior (up to 10% each, P < 0.001). The abundance of AKT and rpS6 was increased in muscles of Mstn −/− mice, while phosphorylation of AKTS473 was increased in Igf1 + mice (Mstn +/+ :Igf1 +, Mstn +/− :Igf1 + and Mstn −/− :Igf1 +). Our results demonstrate that a greater than additive effect is observed on the growth of skeletal muscle and in the reduction of body fat when myostatin is absent and IGF1 is in excess. Finally, we show that myostatin and IGF1 regulate skeletal muscle size, myofibre type and gonadal fat through distinct mechanisms that involve increasing the total abundance and phosphorylation status of AKT and rpS6.

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PM Jehle, DR Jehle, S Mohan and BO Bohm

Osteopenia has been ascribed to diabetics without residual insulin secretion and high insulin requirement. However, it is not known if this is partially due to disturbances in the IGF system, which is a key regulator of bone cell function. To address this question, we performed a cross-sectional study measuring serum levels of IGF-I, IGF-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1), IGFBP-3, IGFBP-4 and IGFBP-5 by specific immunoassays in 52 adults with Type 1 (n=27) and Type 2 (n=25) diabetes mellitus and 100 age- and sex-matched healthy blood donors. In the diabetic patients, we further determined serum levels of proinsulin, intact parathyroid hormone (PTH), 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and several biochemical bone markers, including osteocalcin (OSC), bone alkaline phosphatase (B-ALP), carboxy-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP), and type I collagen cross-linked carboxy-terminal telopeptide (ICTP). Urinary albumin excretion was ascertained as a marker of diabetic nephropathy. Bone mineral density (BMD) of hip and lumbar spine was determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Data are presented as means+/-s.e.m. Differences between the experimental groups were determined by performing a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by Newman-Keuls test. Correlations between variables were assessed using univariate linear regression analysis and partial correlation analysis. Type 1 diabetics showed significantly lower IGF-I (119+/-8 ng/ml) and IGFBP-3 (2590+/-104 ng/ml) but higher IGFBP-1 levels (38+/-10 ng/ml) compared with Type 2 patients (170+/-13, 2910+/-118, 11+/-3 respectively; P<0.05) or healthy controls (169+/-5, 4620+/-192, 3.5+/-0.4 respectively; P<0.01). IGFBP-5 levels were markedly lower in both diabetic groups (Type 1, 228+/-9; Type 2, 242+/-11 ng/ml) than in controls (460+/-7 ng/ml,P<0. 01), whereas IGFBP-4 levels were similar in diabetics and controls. IGF-I correlated positively with IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-5 and negatively with IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-4 in all subjects. Type 1 patients showed a lower BMD of hip (83+/-2 %, Z-score) and lumbar spine (93+/-2 %) than Type 2 diabetics (93+/-5 %, 101+/-5 % respectively), reaching significance in the female subgroups (P<0.05). In Type 1 patients, BMD of hip correlated negatively with IGFBP-1 (r=-0.34, P<0.05) and IGFBP-4 (r=-0.3, P<0.05) but positively with IGFBP-5 (r=0.37, P<0. 05), which was independent of age, diabetes duration, height, weight and body mass index, as assessed by partial correlation analysis. Furthermore, biochemical markers indicating bone loss (ICTP) and increased bone turnover (PTH, OSC) correlated positively with IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-4 but negatively with IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-5, while the opposite was observed with bone formation markers (PICP, B-ALP) and vitamin D3 metabolites. In 20 Type 2 patients in whom immunoreactive proinsulin could be detected, significant positive correlations were found between proinsulin and BMD of hip (r=0.63, P<0.005), IGF-I (r=0.59, P<0.01) as well as IGFBP-3 (r=0.49, P<0.05). Type 1 and Type 2 patients with macroalbuminuria showed a lower BMD of hip, lower IGFBP-5 but higher IGFBP-4 levels, suggesting that diabetic nephropathy may contribute to bone loss by a disturbed IGF system. In conclusion, the findings of this study support the hypothesis that the imbalance between individual IGF system components and the lack of endogenous proinsulin may contribute to the lower BMD in Type 1 diabetics.

Free access

Weiwei Xu, Jamie Morford and Franck Mauvais-Jarvis

One of the most sexually dimorphic aspects of metabolic regulation is the bidirectional modulation of glucose homeostasis by testosterone in male and females. Severe testosterone deficiency predisposes men to type 2 diabetes (T2D), while in contrast, androgen excess predisposes women to hyperglycemia. The role of androgen deficiency and excess in promoting visceral obesity and insulin resistance in men and women respectively is well established. However, although it is established that hyperglycemia requires β cell dysfunction to develop, the role of testosterone in β cell function is less understood. This review discusses recent evidence that the androgen receptor (AR) is present in male and female β cells. In males, testosterone action on AR in β cells enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by potentiating the insulinotropic action of glucagon-like peptide-1. In females, excess testosterone action via AR in β cells promotes insulin hypersecretion leading to oxidative injury, which in turn predisposes to T2D.

Free access

EG Siegel, A Seidenstucker, B Gallwitz, F Schmitz, A Reinecke-Luthge, G Kloppel, UR Folsch and WE Schmidt

Liver cirrhosis is often accompanied by a disturbed carbohydrate metabolism similar to type 2 diabetes. To investigate the severity of the defect in insulin secretion in this form of diabetes, we measured insulin release from isolated pancreatic islets of rats with CCl(4)-phenobarbital-induced liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis was confirmed by clinical signs, elevated liver enzymes and histology. Fasting venous plasma glucose concentrations were equal in rats with liver cirrhosis and in controls. Plasma insulin and glucagon concentrations were significantly greater (P<0.01) in cirrhotic rats than in control animals. Glucose (16.7 mM)-induced stimulation of insulin release from pancreatic islets revealed a twofold increase in control and cirrhotic rats. Basal and stimulated insulin secretion, however, were significantly lower in cirrhotic animals. The incretin hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), has therapeutic potential for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, islets from control and cirrhotic animals were incubated with GLP-1 in concentrations from 10(-)(11) to 10(-)(6) M. GLP-1 stimulated insulin release in a concentration-dependent manner. In islets from cirrhotic rats, basal and stimulated insulin secretion was blunted compared with controls. These data show that the hyperinsulinemia observed in liver cirrhosis is not due to an increase of insulin secretion from islets, but could be explained by decreased hepatic clearance of insulin. GLP-1 may ameliorate diabetes in patients with liver cirrhosis.

Free access

Yoko Yagishita, Akira Uruno, Dionysios V Chartoumpekis, Thomas W Kensler and Masayuki Yamamoto

The transcription factor Nrf2 (NF-E2-related factor 2) plays a critical role in oxidative stress responses. Although activation of Nrf2 signaling is known to exert anti-inflammatory effects, the function of Nrf2 in inflammation-mediated autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes, is not well established. To address the roles of Nrf2 in protection against autoreactive T-cell-induced type 1 diabetes, we used non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, which are a polygenic model of human type 1 diabetes, to generate a genetic model for assessment of the contribution of Nrf2 activation to prevention and/or treatment of type 1 diabetes. Because Keap1 (Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1) negatively regulates Nrf2, we used Keap1 gene knockdown driven by either hypomorphic or knockout Keap1 alleles, which enhanced Nrf2 signaling to moderate or excess levels, respectively. Nrf2 activation in the NOD::Keap1 FA/ mice inhibited T-cell infiltration within or near the islets, ameliorated impairment of insulin secretion and prevented the development of diabetes mellitus. Notably, Nrf2 activation decreased both the plasma interferon-γ (IFN-γ) levels and the IFN-γ-positive cell numbers in the pancreatic islets. The amelioration of diabetes was also observed in the NOD mice with two hypomorphic Keap1 alleles (Keap1 FA/FA) by intermediate activation of Nrf2. Both NOD::Keap1 FA/ and NOD::Keap1 FA/FA mice had a decreased incidence of diabetes mellitus, demonstrating that activation of Nrf2 signaling prevented the onset of type 1 diabetes mellitus in NOD mice. Thus, Nrf2 appears to be a potential target for the prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Restricted access

ST Dheen, K Rajkumar and LJ Murphy

Transgenic mice which overexpress insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFPB-1) demonstrate fasting hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and glucose intolerance in adult life. Here we have examined the ontogeny of pancreatic endocrine dysfunction and investigated islet cell proliferation and apoptosis in this mouse model. In addition we have examined pancreatic insulin content in transgenic mice derived from blastocyst transfer into non-transgenic mice. Transgenic mice were normoglycemic at birth but had markedly elevated plasma insulin levels, 56.2 +/- 4.5 versus 25.4 +/- 1.5 pmol/l, p < 0.001, and pancreatic insulin concentration, 60.5 +/- 2.5 versus 49.0 +/- 2.6 ng/mg of tissue, P < 0.01, compared with wild-type mice. Transgenic mice derived from blastocyst transfer to wild-type foster mothers had an elevated pancreatic insulin content similar to that seen in pups from transgenic mice. There was an age-related decline in pancreatic insulin content and plasma insulin levels and an increase in fasting blood glucose concentrations, such that adult transgenic mice had significantly less pancreatic insulin than wild-type mice. Pancreatic islet number and the size of mature islets were increased in transgenic animals at birth compared with wild-type mice. Both islet cell proliferation, measured by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine labeling, and apoptosis, assessed by the in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase and nick translation assay, were increased in islets of newborn transgenic mice compared with wild-type mice. In adult mice both islet cell proliferation and apoptosis were low and similar in transgenic and wild-type mice. Islets remained significantly larger and more numerous in adult transgenic mice despite a reduction in pancreatic insulin content. These data suggest that overexpression of IGFBP-1, either directly or indirectly via local or systemic mechanisms, has a positive trophic effect on islet development.

Free access

Anna Krook

The incidence and prevalence of type 1, insulin dependent, diabetes is increasing worldwide, spurring efforts to develop and improve therapeutic modalities to improve clinical outcomes for patients. Patients with type 1 diabetes are absolutely dependent on exogenous insulin replacement. Despite advances with novel rapid-acting and intermediate-acting insulin analogues, the net result of exogenous delivery is non-physiologic with respect to both timing and the circulating insulin concentrations achieved. This leads to periods of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia, both of which contribute negatively to overall clinical outcome. Thus, better understanding of optimal insulin regimens is of clinical relevance for patients with type 1 diabetes.

Free access

Tianru Jin

The proglucagon gene (gcg) encodes a number of peptide hormones that are of cell-type specifically expressed in the pancreatic islets, the distal ileum and the large intestine, as well as certain brain neuronal cells. These hormones are important in controlling blood glucose homeostasis, intestinal cell proliferation, and satiety. More importantly, the major hormone generated in the pancreas (i.e. glucagon) exerts opposite effects to the ones that are produced in the intestines (i.e. glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and GLP-2). To understand the mechanisms underlying cell-type-specific gcg expression may lead to the identification of novel drug targets to control endogenous hormone production for therapeutic purposes. Extensive in vitro examinations have shown that more than a half dozen of homeodomain (HD) proteins are able to interact with the gcg gene promoter and activate its expression. In vivo ‘knock-out’ mouse studies, however, cannot demonstrate the role of some of them (i.e. Cdx-2, Brn-4, and Nkx6.2) in the development of pancreatic islet α-cells, suggesting that these HD proteins may exert some redundant functions in the genesis of gcg-producing cells. Investigations have also revealed that gcg expression is controlled by both protein kinase A and Epac signaling pathways in response to cAMP elevation, and cell-type specifically controlled by insulin and the effectors of the Wnt signaling pathway. This review summarizes our current understanding on the mechanisms underlying gcg transcription and presented my interpretations on how the interactions between different signaling networks regulate gcg expression.

Free access

Benjamin J Lamont and Sofianos Andrikopoulos

Incretin-based therapies appear to offer many advantages over other approaches for treating type 2 diabetes. Some preclinical studies have suggested that chronic activation of glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP1R) signalling in the pancreas may result in the proliferation of islet β-cells and an increase in β-cell mass. This provided hope that enhancing GLP1 action could potentially alter the natural progression of type 2 diabetes. However, to date, there has been no evidence from clinical trials suggesting that GLP1R agonists or dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors can increase β-cell mass. Nevertheless, while the proliferative capacity of these agents remains controversial, some studies have raised concerns that they could potentially contribute to the development of pancreatitis and hence increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Currently, there are very limited clinical data to directly assess these potential benefits and risks of incretin-based therapies. However, a review of the preclinical studies indicates that incretin-based therapies probably have only a limited capacity to regenerate pancreatic β-cells, but may be useful for preserving any remaining β-cells in type 2 diabetes. In addition, the majority of preclinical evidence does not support the notion that GLP1R agonists or DPP4 inhibitors cause pancreatitis.

Free access

Neville H McClenaghan, Peter R Flatt and Andrew J Ball

This study examined the effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) on insulin secretion alone and in combination with sulphonylureas or nateglinide, with particular attention to KATP channel-independent insulin secretion. In depolarised cells, GLP-1 significantly augmented glucose-induced KATP channel-independent insulin secretion in a glucose concentration-dependent manner. GLP-1 similarly augmented the KATP channel-independent insulin-releasing effects of tolbutamide, glibenclamide or nateglinide. Downregulation of protein kinase A (PKA)- or protein kinase C (PKC)-signalling pathways in culture revealed that the KATP channel-independent effects of sulphonylureas or nateglinide were critically dependent upon intact PKA and PKC signalling. In contrast, GLP-1 exhibited a reduced but still significant insulin-releasing effect following PKA and PKC downregulation, indicating that GLP-1 can modulate KATP channel-independent insulin secretion by protein kinase-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The synergistic insulin-releasing effects of combinatorial GLP-1 and sulphonylurea/nateglinide were lost following PKA- or PKC-desensitisation, despite GLP-1 retaining an insulin-releasing effect, demonstrating that GLP-1 can induce insulin release under conditions where sulphonylureas and nateglinide are no longer effective. Our results provide new insights into the mechanisms of action of GLP-1, and further highlight the promise of GLP-1 or similarly acting analogues alone or in combination with sulphonylureas or meglitinide drugs in type 2 diabetes therapy.