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A. Salehi and I. Lundquist


In previous in-vivo studies we have presented indirect evidence for the involvement of islet acid glucan-1,4-α-glucosidase (acid amyloglucosidase), a lysosomal glycogen-hydrolysing enzyme, in certain insulin secretory processes. In the present combined in-vitro and in-vivo investigation, we studied whether differential changes in islet acid amyloglucosidase activity were related to the insulin secretory response induced by two mechanistically different secretagogues, glucose and isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX). It was observed that addition of the selective α-glucosidehydrolase inhibitor emiglitate (1 mmol/l) to isolated pancreatic islets resulted in a marked reduction of glucose-induced insulin release. This was accompanied by a pronounced suppression of islet activities of acid amyloglucosidase and acid α-glucosidase, whereas other lysosomal enzyme activities, such as acid phosphatase and N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase, were unaffected. Furthermore, islets first incubated with emiglitate in the presence of high (16·7 mmol/l) glucose released less insulin than untreated controls in response to glucose in a second incubation period in the absence of emiglitate. In contrast, IBMX-induced insulin release was not influenced by emiglitate although accompanied by a marked reduction of islet activities of all three α-glucosidehydrolases. Basal insulin secretion (1 mmol glucose/1) was unaffected in the presence of emiglitate. In-vivo pretreatment of mice with highly purified fungal amyloglucosidase ('enzyme replacement'), a procedure known to increase islet amyloglucosidase activity, resulted in a greatly enhanced insulin secretory response to an i.v. glucose load. The increase in insulin release was accompanied by a markedly improved glucose tolerance curve in these animals. In contrast, enzyme pretreatment did not influence the insulin response or the blood glucose levels after an i.v. injection of IBMX. The data lend further support to our hypothesis that islet acid amyloglucosidase is involved in the multifactorial insulin secretory processes induced by glucose but not in those involving direct activation of the cyclic AMP system. The results also indicate separate, or at least partially separate, pathways for insulin release induced by glucose and IBMX.

Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 138, 391–400

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H Mosen, A Salehi and I Lundquist

The mechanism of nutrient-evoked insulin release is clearly complex. One part of that mechanism is postulated to be the activation of the glycogenolytic enzyme acid glucan-1,4-alpha-glucosidase. As nitric oxide (NO) has been found to be a potent inhibitor of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, we have now investigated a possible influence of exogenous NO and inhibition of endogenous NO production on islet acid glucan-1,4-alpha-glucosidase activity in relation to insulin release stimulated by glucose and l-arginine. In isolated islets, NO derived from the intracellular NO donor hydroxylamine inhibited the activation of acid glucan-1, 4-alpha-glucosidase and its isoform acid alpha-glucosidase in parallel with inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin release. In comparison, other lysosomal enzymes were largely unaffected. Similarly, the spontaneous NO donor sodium nitroprusside, as well as NO gas, when added to islet homogenates, suppressed the activities of these acid alpha-glucosidehydrolases and, to a lesser extent, the activities of other lysosomal enzymes. Finally, in the presence of the NO synthase inhibitor N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester, insulin release from isolated islets stimulated by glucose or l-arginine was markedly potentiated in parallel with an accompanying increase in the activities of acid glucan-1,4-alpha-glucosidase and acid alpha-glucosidase. Other lysosomal enzymes and neutral alpha-glucosidase were not influenced. We propose that an important inhibitory effect of NO on the insulin secretory processes stimulated by glucose and l-arginine is exerted via inactivation of islet acid glucan-1,4-alpha-glucosidase, a putative key enzyme in nutrient-stimulated insulin release.

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B Akesson, R Henningsson, A Salehi and I Lundquist

We have studied, by a combined in vitro and in vivo approach, the relation between the inhibitory action of N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), a selective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), on the activity of islet constitutive NOS (cNOS) and glucose regulation of islet hormone release in mice. The cNOS activity in islets incubated in vitro at 20 mM glucose was not appreciably affected by 0.05 or 0.5 mM L-NAME, but was greatly suppressed (-60%) by 5 mM L-NAME. Similarly, glucose-stimulated insulin release was unaffected by the lower concentrations of L-NAME but greatly enhanced in the presence of 5 mM of the NOS inhibitor. In incubated islets inhibition of cNOS activity resulted in a modestly enhanced insulin release in the absence of glucose, did not display any effect at physiological or subphysiological glucose concentrations, but resulted in a markedly potentiated insulin release at hyperglycaemic glucose concentrations. In the absence of glucose, glucagon secretion was suppressed by L-NAME. The dynamics of glucose-induced insulin release and (45)Ca(2+) efflux from perifused islets revealed that L-NAME caused an immediate potentiation of insulin release, and a slight increase in (45)Ca(2+) efflux. In islets depolarized with 30 mM K(+) in the presence of the K(+)(ATP) channel opener, diazoxide, L-NAME still greatly potentiated glucose-induced insulin release. Finally, an i.v. injection of glucose to mice pretreated with L-NAME was followed by a markedly potentiated insulin response, and an improved glucose tolerance. In accordance, islets isolated directly ex vivo after L-NAME injection displayed a markedly reduced cNOS activity. In conclusion, we have shown here, for the first time, that biochemically verified suppression of islet cNOS activity, induced by the NOS inhibitor L-NAME, is accompanied by a marked potentiation of glucose-stimulated insulin release both in vitro and in vivo. The major action of NO to inhibit glucose-induced insulin release is probably not primarily linked to changes in Ca(2+) fluxes and is exerted mainly independently of membrane depolarization events.