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Free access

Tao Xie, Min Chen and Lee S Weinstein

The ubiquitously expressed G protein α-subunit Gsα mediates the intracellular cAMP response to glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) and other incretin hormones in pancreatic islet cells. We have shown previously that mice with β-cell-specific Gsα deficiency (βGsKO) develop severe early-onset insulin-deficient diabetes with a severe defect in β-cell proliferation. We have now generated mice with Gsα deficiency throughout the whole pancreas by mating Gsα-floxed mice with Pdx1-cre transgenic mice (PGsKO). PGsKO mice also developed severe insulin-deficient diabetes at a young age, confirming the important role of Gsα signaling in β-cell growth and function. Unlike in βGsKO mice, islets in PGsKO mice had a relatively greater proportion of α-cells, which were spread throughout the interior of the islet. Similar findings were observed in mice with pancreatic islet cell-specific Gsα deficiency using a neurogenin 3 promoter-cre recombinase transgenic mouse line. Studies in the α-cell line αTC1 confirmed that reduced cAMP signaling increased cell proliferation while increasing cAMP produced the opposite effect. Therefore, it appears that Gsα/cAMP signaling has opposite effects on pancreatic α- and β-cell proliferation, and that impaired GLP1 action in α- and β-cells via Gsα signaling may be an important contributor to the reciprocal effects on insulin and glucagon observed in type 2 diabetics. In addition, PGsKO mice show morphological changes in exocrine pancreas and evidence for malnutrition and dehydration, indicating an important role for Gsα in the exocrine pancreas as well.

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D. R. NAIK and C. J. DOMINIC

Seven morphologically and tinctorially distinct types of cell (types 1–) have been distinguished in the pars anterior of the pituitary gland of the musk shrew (Suncus murinus L.). On the basis of their responses to various experimental stimuli, these cell types were correlated with the secretion of various trophic hormones. Type 1 cells exhibited conspicuous changes after thyroidectomy or inactivation of the thyroid gland and hence appeared to be the source of TSH. Types 2 and 3 cells responded to gonadectomy and administration of androgens, which suggests that they were associated with gonadotrophin secretion. The granules of the type 2, but not the type 3 cells could be extracted with 10% trichloroacetic acid, which may indicate that type 2 and 3 cells secrete FSH and LH respectively. After the administration of either reserpine or oestrogen, the type 4 cells underwent hypertrophy and hyperplasia, which suggests that they were the likely source of prolactin. Type 6 cells, which are distinguishable from type 4 cells by their thinly dispersed erythrosinophilic granulation, showed conspicuous changes after unilateral adrenalectomy, administration of metyrapone or exposure to stress and may therefore be responsible for secretion of ACTH. Type 5 cells tinctorially resembled the somatotrophic cells of other mammalian species and did not respond to any of the experimental treatments used in the present study. It is therefore possible that these cells have a somatotrophic function. The possible significance of type 7 cells has been discussed previously.

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C. L. FOSTER, E. CAMERON and B. A. YOUNG

SUMMARY

The ultrastructure of the adenohypophysis of the rabbit, after treatment with propylthiouracil, is described. All cells in the zona tuberalis and pars distalis proper, with the exception of the prolactin producing (type 1) and stellate cells (type 5), were affected. However, the only ones which presented some evidence of sequential changes were the type 4 cells. These became markedly degranulated and sometimes showed vesiculation of the cisternae of the granular endoplasmic reticulum, similar to that observed in the 'thyroidectomy' cells in some other species. Although changes occurred in the somatotrophs (type 2) and in the gonadotrophs (type 3) the evidence suggests that it is the type 4 cells which have a thyrotrophic function.

Free access

Zhengu Liu, Violeta Stanojevic, Luke J Brindamour and Joel F Habener

Type 2 diabetes, often associated with obesity, results from a deficiency of insulin production and action manifested in increased blood levels of glucose and lipids that further promote insulin resistance and impair insulin secretion. Glucolipotoxicity caused by elevated plasma glucose and lipid levels is a major cause of impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells, due to increased oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1), an insulinotropic glucoincretin hormone, is known to promote β-cell survival via its actions on its G-protein-coupled receptor on β-cells. Here, we report that a nonapeptide, GLP1(28–36)amide, derived from the C-terminal domain of the insulinotropic GLP1, exerts cytoprotective actions on INS-1 β-cells and on dispersed human islet cells in vitro in conditions of glucolipotoxicity and increased oxidative stress independently of the GLP1 receptor. The nonapeptide appears to enter preferably stressed, glucolipotoxic cells compared with normal unstressed cells. It targets mitochondria and improves impaired mitochondrial membrane potential, increases cellular ATP levels, inhibits cytochrome c release, caspase activation, and apoptosis, and enhances the viability and survival of INS-1 β-cells. We propose that GLP1(28–36)amide might be useful in alleviating β-cell stress and might improve β-cell functions and survival.

Free access

E N Fazio, M Everest, R Colman, R Wang and C L Pin

Mist1 is an exocrine-specific transcription factor that is necessary for the establishment of cell organization and function of pancreatic acinar cells. While Mist1 is not expressed in the endocrine pancreas, the disorganized phenotype of the exocrine component may affect endocrine function. Therefore, we examined endocrine tissue morphology and function in Mist1-knockout (Mist1 KO) mice. Endocrine function was evaluated using a glucose-tolerance test on 2–10-month-old female mice and revealed a significant reduction in glucose-clearing ability in 10-month-old Mist1KO mice compared with wild-type mice. Immunohistochemical analysis of islet hormone expression indicated that the decreased endocrine function was not due to a decrease in insulin-, glucagon- or somatostatin-expressing cells. However, a decrease in the size of islets in 10-month-old Mist1KO mice was observed along with a decrease in Glut-2 protein accumulation. These results suggest that the islets in Mist1KO mice are functionally compromised, likely accounting for the decreased glucose tolerance. Based on these findings, we have identified that the loss of a regulatory gene in the exocrine compartment can affect the endocrine component, providing a possible link between susceptibility for various pancreatic diseases.

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.

Free access

Martina Bugáňová, Helena Pelantová, Martina Holubová, Blanka Šedivá, Lenka Maletínská, Blanka Železná, Jaroslav Kuneš, Petr Kačer, Marek Kuzma and Martin Haluzík

Liraglutide is the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist widely used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recently, it has been demonstrated to decrease cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes and high cardiovascular risk. Although the major modes of liraglutide action are well-known, its detailed action at the metabolic level has not been studied. To this end, we explored the effect of 2-week liraglutide treatment in C57BL/6 male mice with obesity and diabetes induced by 13 weeks of high-fat diet using NMR spectroscopy to capture the changes in urine metabolic profile induced by the therapy. The liraglutide treatment decreased body and fat pads weight along with blood glucose and triglyceride levels. NMR spectroscopy identified 11 metabolites significantly affected by liraglutide treatment as compared to high-fat diet-fed control group. These metabolites included ones involved in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide metabolism, β-oxidation of fatty acids and microbiome changes. Although majority of the metabolites changed after liraglutide treatment were similar as the ones previously identified after vildagliptin administration in a similar mouse model, the changes in creatinine, taurine and trigonelline were specific for liraglutide administration. The significance of these changes and its possible use in the personalization of antidiabetic therapy in humans requires further research.

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Richard W Nelson and Claudia E Reusch

Diabetes mellitus is a common disease in dogs and cats. The most common form of diabetes in dogs resembles type 1 diabetes in humans. Studies suggest that genetics, an immune-mediated component, and environmental factors are involved in the development of diabetes in dogs. A variant of gestational diabetes also occurs in dogs. The most common form of diabetes in cats resembles type 2 diabetes in humans. A major risk factor in cats is obesity. Obese cats have altered expression of several insulin signaling genes and glucose transporters and are leptin resistant. Cats also form amyloid deposits within the islets of the pancreas and develop glucotoxicity when exposed to prolonged hyperglycemia. This review will briefly summarize our current knowledge about the etiology of diabetes in dogs and cats and illustrate the similarities among dogs, cats, and humans.

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R. D. G. MILNER, A. J. BARSON and M. A. ASHWORTH

SUMMARY

Pieces of human foetal pancreas were incubated under control conditions and in media containing different stimuli of insulin release. Insulin secretion was stimulated from the pancreases of foetuses (83–625 g body weight) which were of 16–24 weeks gestational age. Potassium (60 mmol/l), barium (2·54 mmol/l) and ouabain (10−5 mol/l) were effective stimuli in all experiments. Glucagon (5 μg/ml), theophylline (1 mmol/l) and dibutyryl 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (1 mmol/l) stimulated insulin secretion in media containing 0, 0·6 or 3·0 mg glucose/ml. Theophylline and dibutyryl 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate were effective in all experients and glucagon stimulated insulin release in four out of six experiments. At all ages studied, histological examination of the pancreas after each experiment revealed islets of Langerhans containing β cells. In most cases the islets were of the mantle type but occasionally bipolar islets were seen. Cellular normality, as judged by light microscopy, was preserved after periods of incubation for up to 5½ h. Glycogen was demonstrable in the pancreatic acinar tissue but not in the islets.

The results of these experiments indicate that, between the 16th and 24th week of foetal life, the human β cell is capable of releasing insulin in vitro when stimulated appropriately.

Free access

B D Green, N Irwin, V A Gault, C J Bailey, F P M O’Harte and P R Flatt

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a potent insulinotropic hormone proposed to play a role in both the pathophysiology and treatment of type 2 diabetes. This study has employed the GLP-1 receptor antagonist, exendin-4(9–39)amide (Ex(9–39)) to evaluate the role of endogenous GLP-1 in genetic obesity-related diabetes and related metabolic abnormalities using ob/ob and normal mice. Acute in vivo antagonistic potency of Ex(9–39) was confirmed in ob/ob mice by blockade of the insulin-releasing and anti-hyperglycaemic actions of intraperitoneal GLP-1. In longer term studies, ob/ob mice were given once daily injections of Ex(9–39) or vehicle for 11 days. Feeding activity, body weight, and both basal and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion were not significantly affected by chronic Ex(9–39) treatment. However, significantly elevated basal glucose concentrations and impaired glucose tolerance were evident at 11 days. These disturbances in glucose homeostasis were independent of changes of insulin sensitivity and reversed by discontinuation of the Ex(9–39) for 9 days. Similar treatment of normal mice did not affect any of the parameters measured. These findings illustrate the physiological extrapancreatic glucose-lowering actions of GLP-1 in ob/ob mice and suggest that the endogenous hormone plays a minor role in the metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity-related diabetes.