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M. Aoki, S. Kagawa, T. Yamamura, A. Matsuoka, and J. Utsunomiya


Techniques for the monolayer culture of pancreatic islet cells from adult rats and the responsiveness of B cells are described. Whole pancreatic tissue was enzymatically dispersed and then cultured for 30 days in tissue culture medium 199 containing 5·5 mmol glucose/l, with or without 1 mmol 2-deoxyglucose/l. In the absence of 2-deoxyglucose, the responsiveness of B cells diminished to almost zero by day 15 and islets degenerated. In contrast, addition of 2-deoxyglucose to the medium resulted in a selective degeneration of fibroblasts, yielding monolayers that consisted mostly of islet cells. In this stationary system in which monolayers of islet cells were maintained in medium with 2-deoxyglucose, insulin secretion from B cells on days 15 and 30 increased in a dose-dependent fashion in response to increasing concentrations of glucose, leucine and 2-ketoisocaproate. Similarly, when exposed to 16·7 mmol glucose/l, perifused B cells showed a biphasic pattern of insulin secretion on day 15. Addition of 10 μmol forskolin/l and 200 nmol 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol13-acetate/l remarkably enhanced this response. Likewise, the response to 10 mmol leucine/l or 10 mmol 2-ketoisocaproate/l was biphasic. These results suggest that these monolayer cultures retain the functional properties of the adult rat pancreas, and may be useful not only as a model for the in-vitro study of B cell function, but also for implantation.

J. Endocr. (1988) 118, 173–178

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K Matsumoto, R Morishita, N Tomita, A Moriguchi, K Yamasaki, M Aoki, T Nakamura, J Higaki, and T Ogihara

We have previously reported that a decrease in hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which has many protective functions against endothelial damage by high d-glucose, might be a trigger of endothelial injury. However, the regulation of vascular HGF in diabetes mellitus (DM) has not been clarified in vivo, although vascular disease is frequently observed in DM patients. In addition, our previous report revealed that a prostaglandin I(2) (PGI(2)) analogue prevented endothelial cell death through the induction of vascular HGF production in cultured human epithelial cells. Thus, in this study, we examined the effects of a PGI(2) analogue in the regulation of the local HGF system using DM rats. A PGI(2) analogue (beraprost sodium; 300 and 600 micro g/kg per day) or vehicle was administered to 16-week-old DM rats induced by administration of streptozotocin for 28 days. Endothelial function was evaluated by the vasodilator response to acetylcholine, and the expression of vascular HGF mRNA was measured by Northern blotting. Of importance, expression of HGF mRNA was significantly decreased in the blood vessels of DM rats as compared with non-DM (P<0.01). In addition, the in vitro vasodilator response of the abdominal aorta to acetylcholine was markedly impaired in DM rats. Importantly, the vasodilator response was restored by PGI(2) treatment in a dose-dependent manner (P<0.01), whereas N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester inhibited the restoration of endothelial function. Of particular interest, vascular HGF mRNA and protein were significantly increased in the blood vessels of DM rats treated with PGI(2) as compared with vehicle. Similarly, an increase in HGF protein was also confirmed by immunohistochemical analysis. In addition, the specific HGF receptor, c-met, was also increased by PGI(2) treatment. Overall, this study demonstrated that treatment with a PGI(2) analogue restored endothelial dysfunction in DM rats, accompanied by the induction of vascular HGF and c-met expression. Increased local vascular HGF production by a PGI(2) analogue may prevent endothelial injury, potentially resulting in the improvement of endothelial dysfunction.

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Cássio M Villicev, Fatima R S Freitas, Marcelo S Aoki, Cássio Taffarel, Thomas S Scanlan, Anselmo S Moriscot, Miriam O Ribeiro, Antonio C Bianco, and Cecília H A Gouveia

It is well known that thyroid hormone affects body composition; however, the effect of the thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ)-selective thyromimetic GC-1 on this biological feature had not been demonstrated. In the current study, we compared the effects of a 6-week treatment with triiodothyronine (T3; daily injections of 3 or 6 μg/100 g body weight) or GC-1 (equimolar doses) on different metabolic parameters in adult female rats. Whereas all animals gained weight (17–25 g) in a way not basically affected by T3 or GC-1 treatment, only T3 treatment selectively increased food intake (50–70%). Oxygen consumption was significantly and equally increased (50–70%) by T3 and GC-1. Analysis of body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) revealed that, whereas control animals gained about 80% of fat mass, T3- or GC-1-treated animals lost 70–90 and ~20% respectively. Direct analysis of the carcass showed that T3 treatment promoted a 14–74% decrease in fat content but GC-1 treatment promoted only a 15–23% reduction. The gain in lean mass by DEXA and the carcass protein content were not affected by T3 or GC-1 treatment. However, the mass of individual skeletal muscles was negatively affected by T3 but only barely by GC-1. These findings highlight the potential use of GC-1 for the treatment of obesity and the metabolic syndrome.