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Helena C Barbosa, Silvana Bordin, Gabriel Anhê, Shanta J Persaud, James Bowe, Maria I Borelli, Juan J Gagliardino, and Antonio C Boschero

Islet neogenesis associated protein (INGAP) increases islet mass and insulin secretion in neonatal and adult rat islets. In the present study, we measured the short- and long-term effects of INGAP-PP (a pentadecapeptide having the 104–118 amino acid sequence of INGAP) upon islet protein expression and phosphorylation of components of the PI3K, MAPK and cholinergic pathways, and on insulin secretion. Short-term exposure of neonatal islets to INGAP-PP (90 s, 5, 15, and 30 min) significantly increased Akt1-Ser473 and MAPK3/1-Thr202/Tyr204 phosphorylation and INGAP-PP also acutely increased insulin secretion from islets perifused with 2 and 20 mM glucose. Islets cultured for 4 days in the presence of INGAP-PP showed an increased expression of Akt1, Frap1, and Mapk1 mRNAs as well as of the muscarinic M3 receptor subtype, and phospholipase C (PLC)-β2 proteins. These islets also showed increased Akt1 and MAPK3/1 protein phosphorylation. Brief exposure of INGAP-PP-treated islets to carbachol (Cch) significantly increased P70S6K-Thr389 and MAPK3/1 phosphorylation and these islets released more insulin when challenged with Cch that was prevented by the M3 receptor antagonist 4-DAMP, in a concentration-dependent manner. In conclusion, these data indicate that short- and long-term exposure to INGAP-PP significantly affects the expression and the phosphorylation of proteins involved in islet PI3K and MAPK signaling pathways. The observations of INGAPP-PP-stimulated up-regulation of cholinergic M3 receptors and PLC-β2 proteins, enhanced P70S6K and MAPK3/1 phosphorylation and Cch-induced insulin secretion suggest a participation of the cholinergic pathway in INGAP-PP-mediated effects.

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Maria E C Amaral, Daniel A Cunha, Gabriel F Anhê, Mirian Ueno, Everardo M Carneiro, Lício A Velloso, Silvana Bordin, and Antonio C Boschero

Prolactin (PRL) exerts its biological effects mainly by activating the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (JAK/STAT5) signaling pathway. We have recently demonstrated that PRL also stimulates the insulin receptor substrates/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (IRSs/PI3K) and SH2-plekstrin homology domain (SHC)/ERK pathways in islets of neonatal rats. In the present study, we investigated the involvement of the PI3K and MAP kinase (MAPK) cascades in islet development and growth in pregnant rats. The protein expression of AKT1, p70S6K and SHC was higher in islets from pregnant compared with control rats. Higher basal levels of tyrosine phosphorylation were found in classic transducers of insulin cell signaling (IRS1, IRS2 and SHC). Increased levels of threonine/tyrosine phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and serine phosphorylation of AKT and p70S6K were also detected. To assess the participation of PRL in these phenomena, pregnant and control rats were treated with an antisense oligonucleotide to reduce the expression of the PRL receptor (PRLR). Phosphorylation of AKT was reduced in islets from pregnant and control rats, whereas p70S6K protein levels were reduced only in islets from treated pregnant rats. Finally, glucose-induced insulin secretion was reduced in islets from pregnant but not from control rats treated with the PRLR antisense oligonucleotide. In conclusion, downstream proteins of the PI3K (AKT and p70S6K) and MAPK (SHC and ERK1/2) cascades are regulated by PRL signaling in islets from pregnant rats. These findings indicate that these pathways participate in the increase in islet mass and the sensitivity to glucose during pregnancy.

Free access

Gabriel F Anhê, Tatiane C A Nogueira, José E Nicoletti-Carvalho, Camilo Lellis-Santos, Helena C Barbosa, José Cipolla-Neto, José R Bosqueiro, Antonio C Boschero, and Silvana Bordin

During pregnancy, the maternal endocrine pancreas undergoes, as a consequence of placental lactogens and prolactin (PRL) action, functional changes that are characterized by increased glucose-induced insulin secretion. After delivery, the maternal endocrine pancreas rapidly returns to non-pregnant state, which is mainly attributed to the increased serum levels of glucocorticoids (GCs). Although GCs are known to decrease insulin secretion and counteract PRL action, the mechanisms for these effects are poorly understood. We have previously demonstrated that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is increased in islets treated with PRL. In the present study, we show that STAT3 expression and serine phosphorylation are increased in pancreatic islets at the end of pregnancy (P19). STAT3 serine phosphorylation rapidly returned to basal levels 3 days after delivery (L3). The expression of the sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 2 (SERCA2), a crucial protein involved in the regulation of calcium handling in β-cells, was also increased in P19, returning to basal levels at L3. PRL increased SERCA2 and STAT3 expressions and STAT3 serine phosphorylation in RINm5F cells. The upregulation of SERCA2 by PRL was abolished after STAT3 knockdown. Moreover, PRL-induced STAT3 serine phosphorylation and SERCA2 expression were inhibited by dexamethasone (DEX). Insulin secretion from islets of P19 rats pre-incubated with thapsigargin and L3 rats showed a dramatic suppression of first phase of insulin release. The present results indicate that PRL regulates SERCA2 expression by a STAT3-dependent mechanism. PRL effect is counteracted by DEX and might contribute to the adaptation of maternal endocrine pancreas during the peripartum period.

Free access

José Edgar Nicoletti-Carvalho, Tatiane C Araújo Nogueira, Renata Gorjão, Carla Rodrigues Bromati, Tatiana S Yamanaka, Antonio Carlos Boschero, Licio Augusto Velloso, Rui Curi, Gabriel Forato Anhê, and Silvana Bordin

Unfolded protein response (UPR)-mediated pancreatic β-cell death has been described as a common mechanism by which palmitate (PA) and pro-inflammatory cytokines contribute to the development of diabetes. There are evidences that interleukin 6 (IL6) has a protective action against β-cell death induced by pro-inflammatory cytokines; the effects of IL6 on PA-induced apoptosis have not been investigated yet. In the present study, we have demonstrated that PA selectively disrupts IL6-induced RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase (AKT) activation without interfering with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 phosphorylation in RINm5F cells. The inability of IL6 to activate AKT in the presence of PA correlated with an inefficient protection against PA-induced apoptosis. In contrast to PA, IL6 efficiently reduced apoptosis induced by pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, we have demonstrated that IL6 is unable to overcome PA-stimulated UPR, as assessed by activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) expression, X-box binding protein-1 gene mRNA splicing, and pancreatic eukaryotic initiation factor-2α kinase phosphorylation, whereas no significant induction of UPR by pro-inflammatory cytokines was detected. This unconditional stimulation of UPR and apoptosis by PA was accompanied by the stimulation of CHOP and tribble3 (TRIB3) expression, irrespective of the presence of IL6. These findings suggest that IL6 is unable to protect pancreatic β-cells from PA-induced apoptosis because it does not repress UPR activation. In this way, CHOP and ATF4 might mediate PA-induced TRIB3 expression and, by extension, the suppression of IL6 activation of pro-survival kinase AKT.