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  • Abstract: Islets x
  • Abstract: Insulin x
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  • Abstract: Pancreas x
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Free access

Marleen B Dommerholt, Derek A Dionne, Daria F Hutchinson, Janine K Kruit and James D Johnson

Caloric restriction (CR) is the only environmental intervention with robust evidence that it extends lifespan and delays the symptoms of aging, but its mechanisms are incompletely understood. Based on the prolonged longevity of knockout models, it was hypothesized that the insulin-IGF pathway could be a target for developing a CR mimic. This study aimed to test whether CR has additive effects on glucose homeostasis and beta-cell function in mice with reduced insulin gene dosage. To study models with a range of basal insulin levels, wild-type C57BL/6J and mice on an Ins2 / background, were put on 8 weeks of 40% CR at various ages. Both male and female mice rapidly lost weight due to a reduced WAT mass. Glucose tolerance was improved and fasting glucose levels were reduced by CR in both wild type and 45- and 70-week-old Ins2 / mice. The effects of CR and reduced insulin on glucose tolerance were non-additive in 20-week-old mice. Interestingly, mice on CR generally exhibited an inability to further depress blood glucose after insulin injection, pointing to possible alterations in insulin sensitivity. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that CR can cause weight loss in the context of reduced insulin production, but that CR-improved glucose homeostasis does not occur near the ‘insulin floor’ in young mice. Collectively, these data shed further light on the relationships between CR, insulin and glucose homeostasis.

Free access

Tetsuhiro Kakimoto, Hirotaka Kimata, Satoshi Iwasaki, Atsushi Fukunari and Hiroyuki Utsumi

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by impaired insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. Quantification of the islet area in addition to the insulin-positive area is important for detailed understanding of pancreatic islet histopathology. Here we show computerized automatic recognition of the islets of Langerhans as a novel high-throughput method to quantify islet histopathology. We utilized state-of-the-art tissue pattern recognition software to enable automatic recognition of islets, eliminating the need to laboriously trace islet borders by hand. After training by a histologist, the software successfully recognized even irregularly shaped islets with depleted insulin immunostaining, which were quite difficult to automatically recognize. The results from automated image analysis were highly correlated with those from manual image analysis. To establish whether this automated, rapid, and objective determination of islet area will facilitate studies of islet histopathology, we showed the beneficial effect of chronic exendin-4, a glucagon-like peptide-1 analog, treatment on islet histopathology in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. Automated image analysis provided qualitative and quantitative evidence that exendin-4 treatment ameliorated the loss of pancreatic insulin content and gave rise to islet hypertrophy. We also showed that glucagon-positive α-cell area was decreased significantly in ZDF rat islets with disorganized structure. This study is the first to demonstrate the utility of automatic quantification of digital images to study pancreatic islet histopathology. The proposed method will facilitate evaluations in preclinical drug efficacy studies as well as elucidation of the pathophysiology of diabetes.

Free access

WW Lin and AM Oberbauer

IGF-I acts as a local proliferation and maturation factor for chondrocytes in the growth plate. However, the expression of different alternative IGF-I mRNA classes in the growth plate has not been characterized. Using quantitative reverse transcription PCR, the abundance of each alternative IGF-I mRNA class in resting, proliferative and hypertrophic chondrocytes was measured in rat costochondral growth plates. Class 1Ea mRNA was the most abundant IGF-I transcript overall and was highly expressed in proliferative chondrocytes at 2 and 4 weeks of age; by 6 weeks, the majority of 1Ea mRNA expression had shifted to hypertrophic chondrocytes. Class 1Eb mRNA was the second most abundant transcript and its distribution was uniform across all the cell types at 2 weeks of age. The expression pattern changed with increasing age such that at 6 weeks a gradient existed with hypertrophic chondrocytes expressing higher levels of 1Eb than resting chondrocytes. Class 2Ea mRNA was constitutively expressed at low levels across the growth plate at all ages, while class 2Eb mRNA expression was negligible. The distribution of total IGF-I mRNA also shifted across growth plate cell types as the animals aged from 2 to 6 weeks. These findings suggest that IGF-I class 1 mRNA plays the predominant role in the maturation of the growth plate.

Free access

A Shirakami, T Toyonaga, K Tsuruzoe, T Shirotani, K Matsumoto, K Yoshizato, J Kawashima, Y Hirashima, N Miyamura, CR Kahn and E Araki

Insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) gene polymorphisms have been identified in type 2 diabetic patients; however, it is unclear how such polymorphisms contribute to the development of diabetes. Here we introduced obesity in heterozygous IRS-1 knockout (IRS-1(+/-)) mice by gold-thioglucose (GTG) injection and studied the impact of reduced IRS-1 expression on obesity-linked insulin resistance. GTG injection resulted in approximately 30% weight gain in IRS-1(+/-) and wild type (WT) mice, compared with saline-injected controls. There was no difference in insulin sensitivity between lean IRS-1(+/-) and lean WT. Elevated fasting insulin levels but no change in fasting glucose were noted in obese IRS-1(+/-) and WT compared with the respective lean controls. Importantly, fasting insulin in obese IRS-1(+/-) was 1.5-fold higher (P<0.05) than in obese WT, and an insulin tolerance test showed a profound insulin resistance in obese IRS-1(+/-) compared with obese WT. The islets of obese IRS-1(+/-) were 1.4-fold larger than those of obese WT. The expression of insulin receptor and IRS-1 and IRS-2 was decreased in obese IRS-1(+/-), which could in part explain the profound insulin resistance in these mice. Our results suggest that IRS-1 is the suspected gene for type 2 diabetes and its polymorphisms could worsen insulin resistance in the presence of other additional factors, such as obesity.

Full access

Sandra K Szlapinski, Anthony A Botros, Sarah Donegan, Renee T King, Gabrielle Retta, Brenda J Strutt and David J Hill

Gestational diabetes mellitus increases the risk of dysglycemia postpartum, in part, due to pancreatic β-cell dysfunction. However, no histological evidence exists comparing endocrine pancreas after healthy and glucose-intolerant pregnancies. This study sought to address this knowledge gap, in addition to exploring the contribution of an inflammatory environment to changes in endocrine pancreas after parturition. We used a previously established mouse model of gestational glucose intolerance induced by dietary low protein insult from conception until weaning. Pancreas and adipose samples were collected at 7, 30 and 90 days postpartum for histomorphometric and cytokine analyses, respectively. Glucose tolerance tests were performed prior to euthanasia and blood was collected via cardiac puncture. Pregnant female mice born to dams fed a low protein diet previously shown to develop glucose intolerance at late gestation relative to controls continued to be glucose intolerant until 1 month postpartum. However, glucose tolerance normalized by 3 months postpartum. Glucose intolerance at 7 days postpartum was associated with lower beta- and alpha-cell fractional areas and higher adipose levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-6. By 3 months postpartum, a compensatory increase in the number of small islets and a higher insulin to glucagon ratio likely enabled euglycemia to be attained in the previously glucose-intolerant mice. The results show that impairments in endocrine pancreas compensation in hyperglycemic pregnancy persist after parturition and contribute to prolonged glucose intolerance. These impairments may increase the susceptibility to development of future type 2 diabetes.

Free access

Guillaume Mabilleau, Marie Pereira and Chantal Chenu

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) leads to bone fragility and predisposes to increased risk of fracture, poor bone healing and other skeletal complications. In addition, some anti-diabetic therapies for T2DM can have notable detrimental skeletal effects. Thus, an appropriate therapeutic strategy for T2DM should not only be effective in re-establishing good glycaemic control but also in minimising skeletal complications. There is increasing evidence that glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs), now greatly prescribed for the treatment of T2DM, have beneficial skeletal effects although the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. This review provides an overview of the direct and indirect effects of GLP-1RAs on bone physiology, focusing on bone quality and novel mechanisms of action on the vasculature and hormonal regulation. The overall experimental studies indicate significant positive skeletal effects of GLP-1RAs on bone quality and strength although their mechanisms of actions may differ according to various GLP-1RAs and clinical studies supporting their bone protective effects are still lacking. The possibility that GLP-1RAs could improve blood supply to bone, which is essential for skeletal health, is of major interest and suggests that GLP-1 anti-diabetic therapy could benefit the rising number of elderly T2DM patients with osteoporosis and high fracture risk.

Full access

Bethany R L Aykroyd, Simon J Tunster and Amanda N Sferruzzi-Perri

The placenta regulates materno-fetal nutrient transfer and secretes hormones that enable maternal physiological support of the pregnancy. In mice, these functions are performed by the labyrinth (Lz) and junctional (Jz) zones, respectively. Insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2) is an imprinted gene expressed by the conceptus that is important for promoting fetal growth and placenta formation. However, the specific role of Igf2 in the Jz in regulating placental endocrine function and fetal development is unknown. This study used a novel model to investigate the effect of conditional loss of Igf2 in the Jz (Jz-Igf2UE) on placental endocrine cell formation and the expression of hormones and IGF signaling components in placentas from female and male fetuses. Jz-Igf2UE altered gross placental structure and expression of key endocrine and signalling genes in a sexually-dimorphic manner. The volumes of spongiotrophoblast and glycogen trophoblast in the Jz were decreased in placentas from female but not male fetuses. Expression of insulin receptor was increased and expression of placental lactogen-2 and the MAPK pathway genes (Mek1, P38α) decreased in the placental Jz of female but not male fetuses. In contrast, expression of the type-2 IGF receptor and the MAPK pathway genes (H-ras, N-ras, K-ras) was decreased in the placental Jz from male but not female fetuses. Expression of the steroidogenic gene, Cyp17a1, was increased in the placenta of both sexes. In summary, we report that Jz-Igf2UE alters the cellular composition, IGF signalling components and hormone expression of the placental Jz in a manner largely dependent on fetal sex.

Free access

E A Parker, A Hegde, M Buckley, K M Barnes, J Baron and O Nilsson

Previous studies of the GH–IGF system gene expression in growth plate using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization have yielded conflicting results. We therefore studied the spatial and temporal patterns of mRNA expression of the GH–IGF system in the rat proximal tibial growth plate quantitatively. Growth plates were microdissected into individual zones. RNA was extracted, reverse transcribed and analyzed by real-time PCR. In 1-week-old animals, IGF-I mRNA expression was minimal in growth plate compared with perichondrium, metaphyseal bone, muscle, and liver (70-, 130-, 215-, and 400-fold less). In contrast, IGF-II mRNA was expressed at higher levels than in bone and liver (65- and 2-fold). IGF-II expression was higher in the proliferative and resting zones compared with the hypertrophic zone (P < 0.001). GH receptor and type 1 and 2 IGF receptors were expressed throughout the growth plate. Expression of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs)-1 through -6 mRNA was low throughout the growth plate compared with perichondrium and bone. With increasing age (3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-week castrated rats), IGF-I mRNA levels increased in the proliferative zone (PZ) but remained at least tenfold lower than levels in perichondrium and bone. IGF-II mRNA decreased dramatically in PZ (780-fold; P < 0.001) whereas, type 2 IGF receptor and IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3, and IGFBP-4 increased significantly with age in growth plate and/or surrounding perichondrium and bone. These data suggest that IGF-I protein in the growth plate is not produced primarily by the chondrocytes themselves. Instead, it derives from surrounding perichondrium and bone. In addition, the decrease in growth velocity that occurs with age may be caused, in part, by decreasing expression of IGF-II and increasing expression of type 2 IGF receptor and multiple IGFBPs.

Full access

Ziping Jiang, Junduo Wu, Fuzhe Ma, Jun Jiang, Linlin Xu, Lei Du, Wenlin Huang, Zhaohui Wang, Ye Jia, Laijin Lu and Hao Wu

Over a half of the diabetic individuals develop macrovascular complications that cause high mortality. Oxidative stress (OS) promotes endothelial dysfunction (ED) which is a critical early step toward diabetic macrovascular complications. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) is a master regulator of cellular antioxidant defense system and combats diabetes-induced OS. Previously, we found that impaired NRF2 antioxidant signaling contributed to diabetes-induced endothelial OS and dysfunction in mice. The present study has investigated the effect of microRNA-200a (miR-200a) on NRF2 signaling and diabetic ED. In aortic endothelial cells (ECs) isolated from C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) mice, high glucose (HG) reduced miR-200a levels and increased the expression of kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) – a target of miR-200a and a negative regulator of NRF2. This led to the inactivation of NRF2 signaling and exacerbation of OS and inflammation. miR-200a mimic (miR-200a-M) or inhibitor modulated KEAP1/NRF2 antioxidant signaling and manipulated OS and inflammation under HG conditions. These effects were completely abolished by knockdown of Keap1, indicating that Keap1 mRNA is a major target of miR-200a. Moreover, the protective effect of miR-200a-M was completely abrogated in aortic ECs isolated from C57BL/6 Nrf2 knockout (KO) mice, demonstrating that NRF2 is required for miR-200a’s actions. In vivo, miR-200a-M inhibited aortic Keap1 expression, activated NRF2 signaling, and attenuated hyperglycemia-induced OS, inflammation and ED in the WT, but not Nrf2 KO, mice. Therefore, the present study has uncovered miR-200a/KEAP1/NRF2 signaling that controls aortic endothelial antioxidant capacity, which protects against diabetic ED.

Free access

James E Bowe, Zara J Franklin, Astrid C Hauge-Evans, Aileen J King, Shanta J Persaud and Peter M Jones

The pathophysiology of diabetes as a disease is characterised by an inability to maintain normal glucose homeostasis. In type 1 diabetes, this is due to autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic β-cells and subsequent lack of insulin production, and in type 2 diabetes it is due to a combination of both insulin resistance and an inability of the β-cells to compensate adequately with increased insulin release. Animal models, in particular genetically modified mice, are increasingly being used to elucidate the mechanisms underlying both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and as such the ability to study glucose homeostasis in vivo has become an essential tool. Several techniques exist for measuring different aspects of glucose tolerance and each of these methods has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Thus the appropriate methodology may vary from study to study depending on the desired end-points, the animal model, and other practical considerations. This review outlines the most commonly used techniques for assessing glucose tolerance in rodents and details the factors that should be taken into account in their use. Representative scenarios illustrating some of the practical considerations of designing in vivo experiments for the measurement of glucose homeostasis are also discussed.