Abnormal depletion or accumulation of islet lipid may be important for the development of pancreatic beta cell failure. Long-term lipid sensing by beta cells may be co-ordinated via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). We investigated whether PPARalpha activation in vivo for 24 h affects basal and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in vivo after intravenous glucose administration and ex vivo in isolated perifused islets. Insulin secretion after intravenous glucose challenge was greatly increased by high-fat feeding (4 weeks) but glucose tolerance was minimally perturbed, demonstrating insulin hypersecretion compensated for insulin resistance. The effect of high-fat feeding to enhance glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was retained in perifused islets demonstrating a stable, long-term effect of high-fat feeding to potentiate islet glucose stimulus-secretion coupling. Treatment of high-fat-fed rats with WY14,643 for 24 h reversed insulin hypersecretion in vivo without impairing glucose tolerance, suggesting improved insulin action, and ex vivo in perfused islets. PPARalpha activation only affected hypersecretion of insulin since glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was unaffected by WY14,643 treatment in vivo in control rats or in perifused islets from control rats. Our data demonstrate that activation of PPARalpha for 24 h can oppose insulin hypersecretion elicited by high-fat feeding via stable long-term effects exerted on islet function. PPARalpha could, therefore, participate in ameliorating abnormal glucose homeostasis and hyperinsulinaemia in dietary insulin resistance via modulation of islet function, extending the established requirement for PPARalpha for normal islet lipid homeostasis.
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