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Free access

Tao Xie, Min Chen and Lee S Weinstein

The ubiquitously expressed G protein α-subunit Gsα mediates the intracellular cAMP response to glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) and other incretin hormones in pancreatic islet cells. We have shown previously that mice with β-cell-specific Gsα deficiency (βGsKO) develop severe early-onset insulin-deficient diabetes with a severe defect in β-cell proliferation. We have now generated mice with Gsα deficiency throughout the whole pancreas by mating Gsα-floxed mice with Pdx1-cre transgenic mice (PGsKO). PGsKO mice also developed severe insulin-deficient diabetes at a young age, confirming the important role of Gsα signaling in β-cell growth and function. Unlike in βGsKO mice, islets in PGsKO mice had a relatively greater proportion of α-cells, which were spread throughout the interior of the islet. Similar findings were observed in mice with pancreatic islet cell-specific Gsα deficiency using a neurogenin 3 promoter-cre recombinase transgenic mouse line. Studies in the α-cell line αTC1 confirmed that reduced cAMP signaling increased cell proliferation while increasing cAMP produced the opposite effect. Therefore, it appears that Gsα/cAMP signaling has opposite effects on pancreatic α- and β-cell proliferation, and that impaired GLP1 action in α- and β-cells via Gsα signaling may be an important contributor to the reciprocal effects on insulin and glucagon observed in type 2 diabetics. In addition, PGsKO mice show morphological changes in exocrine pancreas and evidence for malnutrition and dehydration, indicating an important role for Gsα in the exocrine pancreas as well.

Free access

Te Du, Liu Yang, Xu Xu, Xiaofan Shi, Xin Xu, Jian Lu, Jianlu Lv, Xi Huang, Jing Chen, Heyao Wang, Jiming Ye, Lihong Hu and Xu Shen

Vincamine, a monoterpenoid indole alkaloid extracted from the Madagascar periwinkle, is clinically used for the treatment of cardio-cerebrovascular diseases, while also treated as a dietary supplement with nootropic function. Given the neuronal protection of vincamine and the potency of β-cell amelioration in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), we investigated the potential of vincamine in protecting β-cells and ameliorating glucose homeostasis in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, we found that vincamine could protect INS-832/13 cells function by regulating G-protein-coupled receptor 40 (GPR40)/cAMP/Ca2+/IRS2/PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, while increasing glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) by modulating GPR40/cAMP/Ca2+/CaMKII pathway, which reveals a novel mechanism underlying GPR40-mediated cell protection and GSIS in INS-832/13 cells. Moreover, administration of vincamine effectively ameliorated glucose homeostasis in either HFD/STZ or db/db type 2 diabetic mice. To our knowledge, our current work might be the first report on vincamine targeting GPR40 and its potential in the treatment of T2DM.

Free access

Sachiko Kitanaka, Utako Sato and Takashi Igarashi

Mutations in hepatocyte nuclear factor-1β (HNF-1β) lead to type 5 maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY5). Moreover, mutations in the HNF-1β gene might cause multiorgan abnormalities including renal diseases, genital malformations, and abnormal liver function. The objective of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanism of diabetes mellitus, intrauterine growth retardation, and cholestasis observed in MODY5 patients. We analyzed the transactivity of wild-type and three mutant HNF-1β on native human insulin, IGF-I, and multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2) promoters in combination with HNF-1α, using a reporter-assay system in transiently transfected mammalian cells. In the human insulin gene promoter, we found that the cooperation of HNF-1α and HNF-1β is prominent. Absence of this cooperation was observed in all of the HNF-1β mutants. In the human IGF-I and MRP2 promoters, we found that the HNF-1β His153Asn (H153N) mutant had a mutant-specific repressive effect on both HNF-1α and wild-type HNF-1β transactivity. Absence of the cooperation of HNF-1β mutants with HNF-1α in the human insulin gene promoter might be one cause of defective insulin secretion. The H153N mutant-specific repression of HNF-1α and HNF-1β transactivity in human IGF-I and MRP2 promoters might explain the case-specific clinical features of growth retardation and cholestasis observed only in early infancy. We found differential property of HNF-1α/HNF-1β activity and the effect of HNF-1β mutants by the promoters. We consider that analyses of HNF-1β mutants on the intended human native promoters in combination with HNF-1α may be useful in investigating the molecular mechanisms of the various features in MODY5.

Free access

Marcelo A Christoffolete, Márton Doleschall, Péter Egri, Zsolt Liposits, Ann Marie Zavacki, Antonio C Bianco and Balázs Gereben

Thyroid hormone receptor (TR) and liver X-receptor (LXR) are the master regulators of lipid metabolism. Remarkably, a mouse with a targeted deletion of both LXRα and LXRβ is resistant to western diet-induced obesity, and exhibits ectopic liver expression of the thyroid hormone activating type 2 deiodinase (D2). We hypothesized that LXR/retinoid X-receptor (RXR) signaling inhibits hepatic D2 expression, and studied this using a luciferase reporter containing the human DIO2 (hDIO2) promoter in HepG2 cells. Given that, in contrast to mammals, the chicken liver normally expresses D2, the chicken DIO2 (cDIO2) promoter was also studied. 22(R)-OH-cholesterol negatively regulated hDIO2 in a dose-dependent manner (100 μM, approximately twofold), while it failed to affect the cDIO2 promoter. Truncations in the hDIO2 promoter identified the region −901 to −584 bp as critical for negative regulation. We also investigated if 9-cis retinoic acid (9-cis RA), the ligand for the heterodimeric partner of TR and LXR, RXR, could regulate the hDIO2 promoter. Notably, 9-cis RA repressed the hDIO2 luciferase reporter (1 μM, approximately fourfold) in a dose-dependent manner, while coexpression of an inactive mutant RXR abolished this effect. However, it is unlikely that RXR homodimers mediate the repression of hDIO2 since mutagenesis of a DR-1 at −506 bp did not interfere with 9-cis RA-mediated repression. Our data indicate that hDIO2 transcription is negatively regulated by both 22(R)-OH-cholesterol and 9-cis RA, which is consistent with LXR/RXR involvement. In vivo, the inhibition of D2-mediated tri-iodothyronine (T3) production by cholesterol/9-cis RA could function as a feedback loop, given that T3 decreases hepatic cholesterol levels.

Free access

A Alidibbiat, C E Marriott, K T Scougall, S C Campbell, G C Huang, W M Macfarlane and J A M Shaw

Generation of new β-cells from the adult pancreas or the embryonic stem cells is being pursued by research groups worldwide. Success will be dependent on confirmation of true β-cell phenotype evidenced by capacity to process and store proinsulin. The aim of these studies was to robustly determine endocrine characteristics of the AR42J rat pancreatic acinar cell line before and after in vitro transdifferentiation. β-cell phenotypic marker expression was characterised by RT-PCR, immunostaining, western blotting, ELISA and in human preproinsulin transgene over-expression studies in wild-type AR42J cells and after culture on Matrigel basement membrane matrix with and without growth/differentiation factor supplementation. Pancreatic duodenal homeobox 1 (PDX1), forkhead box transcription factor a2 (Foxa2), glucokinase, pancreatic polypeptide and low-level insulin gene transcription in wild-type AR42J cells were confirmed by RT-PCR. Culture on Matrigel-coated plates and supplementation of medium with glucagon-like peptide 1 induced expression of the β-cell Glut 2 with maintained expression of insulin and PDX1. Increased biosynthesis and secretion of proinsulin were confirmed by immunocytochemical staining and sensitive ELISA. Absence of the regulated secretory pathway was demonstrated by undetectable prohormone convertase expression. In addition, inability to process and store endogenous proinsulin or human proinsulin translated from a constitutively over-expressed preproinsulin transgene was confirmed. The importance of robust phenotypic characterisation at the protein level in attempted β-cell transdifferentiation studies has been confirmed. Rodent and human sensitive/specific differential proinsulin/insulin ELISA in combination with human preproinsulin over-expression enables detailed elucidatation of core endocrine functions of proinsulin processing and storage in putative new β-cells.

Free access

TY Tai, JY Lu, CL Chen, MY Lai, PJ Chen, JH Kao, CZ Lee, HS Lee, LM Chuang and YM Jeng

This study aimed at elucidating the effects of interferon (IFN)-alpha on glucose metabolism in patients with chronic hepatitis B and C infections. Twenty-eight biopsy-proven patients with chronic hepatitis B (ten cases) and hepatitis C (18 cases) were given IFN-alpha for a total of 24 weeks. The patients received a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), glucagon stimulation test, tests for type 1 diabetes-related autoantibodies and an insulin suppression test before and after IFN-alpha therapy. Ten of the 28 patients responded to IFN-alpha therapy. Steady-state plasma glucose of the insulin suppression test decreased significantly in responders (13.32+/-1.48 (S.E.M.) vs 11.33+/-1.19 mmol/l, P=0.0501) but not in non-responders (12.29+/-1.24 vs 11.11+/-0.99 mmol/l, P=0.2110) immediately after completion of IFN-alpha treatment. In the oral glucose tolerance test, no significant difference was observed in plasma glucose in either responders (10.17+/-0.23 vs 10.03+/-0.22 mmol/l) or non-responders (10.11+/-0.22 vs 9.97+/-0.21 mmol/l) 3 Months after completion of IFN-alpha treatment. However, significant differences were noted in C-peptide in both responders (2.90+/-0.13 vs 2.20+/-0.09 nmol/l, P=0.0040) and non-responders (2.45+/-0.11 vs 2.22+/-0.08 nmol/l, P=0.0287) before vs after treatment. The changes of C-peptide in an OGTT between responders and non-responders were also significantly different (P=0.0028), with responders reporting a greater reduction in C-peptide. No case developed autoantibodies during the treatment. In patients who were successfully treated with IFN-alpha, insulin sensitivity improved and their plasma glucose stayed at the same level without secreting as much insulin from islet beta-cells.

Free access

Hongbin Liu, Anthony E Dear, Lotte B Knudsen and Richard W Simpson

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) administration attenuates endothelial cell dysfunction in diabetic patients and inhibits tumour necrosis factor α (TNF)-mediated plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) induction in human vascular endothelial cells. The short half-life of GLP-1 mediated via degradation by the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase 4 mandates the clinical use of long-acting GLP-1 analogues. The effects of a long-acting GLP-1 analogue on PAI-1 and vascular adhesion molecule expression in vascular endothelial cells are unknown. In this report, we demonstrate for the first time that the treatment with liraglutide, a long-acting GLP-1 analogue, inhibited TNF or hyperglycaemia-mediated induction of PAI-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 mRNA and protein expression in a human vascular endothelial cell line. In addition, treatment attenuated TNF- or hyperglycaemia-mediated induction of the orphan nuclear receptor Nur77 mRNA expression. Taken together, these observations indicate that liraglutide inhibits TNF- or glucose-mediated induction of PAI-1 and vascular adhesion molecule expression, and this effect may involve the modulation of NUR77. These effects suggest that liraglutide may potentially improve the endothelial cell dysfunction associated with premature atherosclerosis identified in type 2 diabetic patients.

Free access

Yuichiro Takeuchi, Keishi Yamauchi, Junko Nakamura, Satoshi Shigematsu and Kiyoshi Hashizume

The biological effects of angiotensin II (AngII) are mediated by two major subtypes of AngII receptors, type 1 (AT1R) and type 2 (AT2R). In this study, we attempted to elucidate the role of AngII subtype receptor-specific regulation in migration and proliferation of mouse cultured mesangial (MSG) cells. We found that 100 nM AngII stimulated weak migration of MSG cells. Cell motility increased more in the presence of AT2R than in the presence of AT1R, and it was suppressed by guanylate cyclase inhibitors. On the other hand, the activation of AT1R resulted in increased cell numbers, while AT2R activation inhibited cell proliferation. Moreover, high concentrations of glucose (25 mM) stimulated the expression of AT2R but not AT1R. These results indicate that there are receptor subtype-specific roles in MSG cells, and it is therefore possible that the activation of AT2R stimulates repair of glomerular tissue defect, by regulation of migration and proliferation of MSG cells. Taken together, these results suggest that the relative concentrations of AT1R and AT2R are important factors in the regulation of AngII function in glomerular tissue, and alterations in the concentrations of these receptors may contribute to progression of or protection from diabetic nephropathy.

Free access

Xiaofeng Wang and Catherine B Chan

n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are a subgroup of fatty acids with broad health benefits, such as lowering blood triglycerides and decreasing the risk of some types of cancer. A beneficial effect of n-3 PUFAs in diabetes is indicated by results from some studies. Defective insulin secretion is a fundamental pathophysiological change in both types 1 and 2 diabetes. Emerging studies have provided evidence of a connection between n-3 PUFAs and improved insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. This review summarizes the recent findings in this regard and discusses the potential mechanisms by which n-3 PUFAs influence insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells.

Restricted access

P S Leung, H C Chan, L X M Fu and P Y D Wong


Previous studies have demonstrated the existence of several key components of the renin–angiotensin system in the pancreas. In the present study, the localization of angiotensin II receptor subtypes, type I (AT1) and type II (AT2), in the mouse and the rat pancreas was studied by immunocytochemistry using specific antipeptide antibodies against the second extracellular loops of AT1 and AT2 receptors in conjunction with confocal laser scanning microscopy. In the mouse, immunoreactivity for AT1 and AT2 was observed predominantly in the endothelia of the blood vessels and the epithelia of the pancreatic ductal system. Similar distribution of immunoreactivity for AT1 and AT2 was also observed. However, the intensity of immunoreactivity for AT1 and AT2 was stronger in the rat than that found in the mouse pancreas. Much weaker immunostaining for both AT1 and AT2, as compared with that found in ductal regions, was also found in the acini of the rodent pancreas. Together with the previous findings, the present results suggest that AT1 and/or AT2 receptors may play a role in regulating pancreatic functions in the rodent.

Journal of Endocrinology (1997) 153, 269–274