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WS Zawalich and KC Zawalich

Islets from fed and 24-h-fasted rats were studied immediately after collagenase isolation. (1) After a 24-h fast, the insulin secretory responses to 8 mM glucose measured during perifusion were reduced by more than 90% from islets of fasted donors. (2) Increasing glucose to 11 or 27.5 mM resulted in enhanced insulin secretion from islets of fasted animals. (3) Fasting did not reduce islet insulin content. (4) Responses to 8 or 27.5 mM glucose were not affected if fatty acid-free albumin was used during the perifusion. (5) Inclusion of alpha-ketoisocaproate (5 mM), monomethyl succinate (10 mM) or carbachol (10 microM) significantly amplified insulin release from fasted islets in the simultaneous presence of 8 mM glucose. (6) Phospholipase C activation by glucose, carbachol or their combination was not adversely affected by fasting. (7) The response to the protein kinase C activator, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (500 nM), was reduced by about 60% after fasting. (8) Extending the fast to 48 h resulted in a severe decline in response to 11 mM glucose; however, the further addition of 10 microM carbachol still enhanced release from these islets. The results confirm that caloric restriction impairs islet sensitivity to glucose stimulation and that protein kinase C may be involved in the reduction of glucose-induced insulin release from these islets. The activation of phospholipase C by cholinergic stimulation may contribute to the maintenance of insulin secretion from calorically restricted animals. These results also demonstrate that free fatty acids are not essential for glucose to evoke secretion from isolated islets of fasted donors.

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WS Zawalich, GJ Tesz and KC Zawalich

We examined the effects of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibition by wortmannin or LY294002 on glucose-induced secretion from mouse islets. Islets were collagenase isolated and perifused or subjected to Western blot analyses and probed for insulin receptor-signaling components. In agreement with previous studies, mouse islets, when compared with rat islets, were minimally responsive to 10 mM glucose stimulation. The inclusion of 50 nM wortmannin or 10 microM LY294002 significantly amplified 10 mM glucose-induced release from mouse islets. The effect of wortmannin was abolished by the calcium channel antagonist nitrendipine or by lowering the glucose level to 3 mM. Wortmannin had no effect on 10 mM alpha-ketoisocaproate-induced secretion. In contrast to its potentiating effect on islets from CD-1 mice, wortmannin had no effect on 10 mM glucose-induced release from ob/ob mouse islets. Western blot analyses revealed the presence of the insulin receptor, insulin receptor substrate proteins 1 and 2 and PI3K in CD-1 islets. These results support the concept that a PI3K-dependent signaling pathway exists in beta-cells and that it may function to restrain glucose-induced insulin secretion from beta-cells. They also suggest that, as insulin resistance develops in peripheral tissues, a potential result of impaired PI3K activation, the same biochemical anomaly in beta-cells promotes a linked increase in insulin secretion to maintain glucose homeostasis.