Low doses of bisphenol A and diethylstilbestrol impair Ca2+ signals in pancreatic alpha-cells through a nonclassical membrane estrogen receptor within intact islets of Langerhans.
Glucagon, secreted from pancreatic alpha-cells integrated within the islets of Langerhans, is involved in the regulation of glucose metabolism by enhancing the synthesis and mobilization of glucose in the liver. In addition, it has other extrahepatic effects ranging from lipolysis in adipose tissue to the control of satiety in the central nervous system. In this article, we show that the endocrine disruptors bisphenol A (BPA) and diethylstilbestrol (DES), at a concentration of 10(-9) M, suppressed low-glucose-induced intracellular calcium ion ([Ca2+]i) oscillations in alpha-cells, the signal that triggers glucagon secretion. This action has a rapid onset, and it is reproduced by the impermeable molecule estradiol (E2) conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (E-HRP). Competition studies using E-HRP binding in immunocytochemically identified alpha-cells indicate that 17beta-E2, BPA, and DES share a common membrane-binding site whose pharmacologic profile differs from the classical ER. The effects triggered by BPA, DES, and E2 are blocked by the G alpha i- and G alpha o-protein inhibitor pertussis toxin, by the guanylate cyclase-specific inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one, and by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. The effects are reproduced by 8-bromo-guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate and suppressed in the presence of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor KT-5823. The action of E2, BPA, and DES in pancreatic alpha-cells may explain some of the effects elicited by endocrine disruptors in the metabolism of glucose and lipid. (+info)
Islet auto-transplantation into an omental or splenic site results in a normal beta cell but abnormal alpha cell response to mild non-insulin-induced hypoglycemia.
The present studies were designed to determine if totally pancreatectomized dogs that underwent islet auto-transplantation retained a functional pancreatic counterregulatory response to mild non-insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Six dogs underwent total pancreatectomy followed by islet auto-transplantation to spleen or omentum. The animals recovered and fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels were normal. Each study consisted of a 40-min control and 2-h test period. At the onset of the test period, a glycogen phosphorylase inhibitor was administered to create mild hypoglycemia. Plasma glucose in the transplanted dogs fell from 120 +/- 4 to 80 +/- 3 mg/dL, similar to the minimum in control dogs without islet auto-transplantation (108 +/- 2 to 84 +/- 5 mg/dL). The fall in plasma insulin was similar in both groups. Glucagon, however, rose in response to hypoglycemia in the control dogs (Delta24 +/- 7 pg/mL; p < 0.05), but failed to rise significantly in the transplanted dogs (Delta9 +/- 6 pg/mL). In fact, only 1 of 7 control dogs failed to increase plasma glucagon by at least 25%, whereas 4 of 6 transplanted dogs failed to do so. In conclusion, in conscious dogs with successfully auto-transplanted islets, the beta cell response to mild non-insulin-induced hypoglycemia was normal, whereas the alpha cell response was not. (+info)
Cell type-specific activation of metabolism reveals that beta-cell secretion suppresses glucagon release from alpha-cells in rat pancreatic islets.
Abnormal glucagon secretion is often associated with diabetes mellitus. However, the mechanisms by which nutrients modulate glucagon secretion remain poorly understood. Paracrine modulation by beta- or delta-cells is among the postulated mechanisms. Herein we present further evidence of the paracrine mechanism. First, to activate cellular metabolism and thus hormone secretion in response to specific secretagogues, we engineered insulinoma INS-1E cells using an adenovirus-mediated expression system. Expression of the Na+-dependent dicarboxylate transporter (NaDC)-1 resulted in 2.5- to 4.6-fold (P < 0.01) increases in insulin secretion in response to various tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates. Similarly, expression of glycerol kinase (GlyK) increased insulin secretion 3.8- or 4.2-fold (P < 0.01) in response to glycerol or dihydroxyacetone, respectively. This cell engineering method was then modified, using the Cre-loxP switching system, to activate beta-cells and non-beta-cells separately in rat islets. NaDC-1 expression only in non-beta-cells, among which alpha-cells are predominant, caused an increase (by 1.8-fold, P < 0.05) in glucagon secretion in response to malate or succinate. However, the increase in glucagon release was prevented when NaDC-1 was expressed in whole islets, i.e., both beta-cells and non-beta-cells. Similarly, an increase in glucagon release with glycerol was observed when GlyK was expressed only in non-beta-cells but not when it was expressed in whole islets. Furthermore, dicarboxylates suppressed basal glucagon secretion by 30% (P < 0.05) when NaDC-1 was expressed only in beta-cells. These data demonstrate that glucagon secretion from rat alpha-cells depends on beta-cell activation and provide insights into the coordinated mechanisms underlying hormone secretion from pancreatic islets. (+info)
Stevioside counteracts the alpha-cell hypersecretion caused by long-term palmitate exposure.
Long-term exposure to fatty acids impairs beta-cell function in type 2 diabetes, but little is known about the chronic effects of fatty acids on alpha-cells. We therefore studied the prolonged impact of palmitate on alpha-cell function and on the expression of genes related to fuel metabolism. We also investigated whether the antihyperglycemic agent stevioside was able to counteract these effects of palmitate. Clonal alpha-TC1-6 cells were cultured with palmitate in the presence or absence of stevioside. After 72 h, we evaluated glucagon secretion, glucagon content, triglyceride (TG) content, and changes in gene expression. Glucagon secretion was dose-dependently increased after 72-h culture, with palmitate at concentrations >or=0.25 mM (P< 0.05). Palmitate (0.5 mM) enhanced TG content of alpha-cells by 73% (P< 0.01). Interestingly, stevioside (10(-8) and 10(-6) M) reduced palmitate-stimulated glucagon release by 22 and 45%, respectively (P< 0.01). There was no significant change in glucagon content after 72-h culture with palmitate and/or stevioside. Palmitate increased carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT I) mRNA level, whereas stevioside enhanced CPT I, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, and stearoyl-CoA desaturase gene expressions in the presence of palmitate (P<0.05). In conclusion, long-term exposure to elevated fatty acids leads to a hypersecretion of glucagon and an accumulation of TG content in clonal alpha-TC1-6 cells. Stevioside was able to counteract the alpha-cell hypersecretion caused by palmitate and enhanced the expression of genes involved in fatty acid metabolism. This indicates that stevioside may be a promising antidiabetic agent in treatment of type 2 diabetes. (+info)
Small rat islets are superior to large islets in in vitro function and in transplantation outcomes.
Barriers to the use of islet transplantation as a practical treatment for diabetes include the limited number of available donor pancreata. This project was designed to determine whether the size of the islet could influence the success rate of islet transplantations in rats. Islets from adult rats were divided into two groups containing small (diameter <125 microm) or large (diameter >150 microm) islets. An average pancreas yielded three times more small islets than large. Smaller islets were approximately 20% more viable, with large islets containing a scattered pattern of necrotic and apoptotic cells or central core cell death. Small islets in culture consumed twice as much oxygen as large islets when normalized for the same islet equivalents. In static incubation, small islets released three times more insulin under basal conditions than did large islets. During exposure to high glucose conditions, the small islets released four times more insulin than the same islet equivalencies of large islets, and five times more insulin was released by the small islets in response to glucose and depolarization with K+. Most importantly, the small islets were far superior to large islets when transplanted into diabetic animals. When marginal islet equivalencies were used for renal subcapsular transplantation, large islets failed to produce euglycemia in any recipient rats, whereas small islets were successful 80% of the time. The results indicate that small islets are superior to large islets in in vitro testing and for transplantation into the kidney capsule of diabetic rats. (+info)
Desperately seeking sugar: glial cells as hypoglycemia sensors.
A life-saving response to hypoglycemia requires rapid sensing of decreases in glycemia and consequent brisk glucagon secretion. Preceding studies have shown that mice lacking glucose transporter type 2 (GLUT2) lose this response. In this issue of the JCI, Marty et al. report that glucose sensing and consequent pancreatic glucagon secretion are restored by re-expression of GLUT2 in glial but not neuronal cells. A new, glucose-sensing role is ascribed to GLUT2-expressing glial cells. (+info)
Regulation of glucagon secretion by glucose transporter type 2 (glut2) and astrocyte-dependent glucose sensors.
Ripglut1;glut2-/- mice have no endogenous glucose transporter type 2 (glut2) gene expression but rescue glucose-regulated insulin secretion. Control of glucagon plasma levels is, however, abnormal, with fed hyperglucagonemia and insensitivity to physiological hypo- or hyperglycemia, indicating that GLUT2-dependent sensors control glucagon secretion. Here, we evaluated whether these sensors were located centrally and whether GLUT2 was expressed in glial cells or in neurons. We showed that ripglut1;glut2-/- mice failed to increase plasma glucagon levels following glucoprivation induced either by i.p. or intracerebroventricular 2-deoxy-D-glucose injections. This was accompanied by failure of 2-deoxy-D-glucose injections to activate c-Fos-like immunoreactivity in the nucleus of the tractus solitarius and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus. When glut2 was expressed by transgenesis in glial cells but not in neurons of ripglut1;glut2-/- mice, stimulated glucagon secretion was restored as was c-Fos-like immunoreactive labeling in the brainstem. When ripglut1;glut2-/- mice were backcrossed into the C57BL/6 genetic background, fed plasma glucagon levels were also elevated due to abnormal autonomic input to the alpha cells; glucagon secretion was, however, stimulated by hypoglycemic stimuli to levels similar to those in control mice. These studies identify the existence of central glucose sensors requiring glut2 expression in glial cells and therefore functional coupling between glial cells and neurons. These sensors may be activated at different glycemic levels depending on the genetic background. (+info)
Intra-islet insulin suppresses glucagon release via GABA-GABAA receptor system.
Excessive secretion of glucagon is a major contributor to the development of diabetic hyperglycemia. Secretion of glucagon is regulated by various nutrients, with glucose being a primary determinant of the rate of alpha cell glucagon secretion. The intra-islet action of insulin is essential to exert the effect of glucose on the alpha cells since, in the absence of insulin, glucose is not able to suppress glucagon release in vivo. However, the precise mechanism by which insulin suppresses glucagon secretion from alpha cells is unknown. In this study, we show that insulin induces activation of GABAA receptors in the alpha cells by receptor translocation via an Akt kinase-dependent pathway. This leads to membrane hyperpolarization in the alpha cells and, ultimately, suppression of glucagon secretion. We propose that defects in this pathway(s) contribute to diabetic hyperglycemia. (+info)