Loss of AMP-activated protein kinase alpha2 subunit in mouse beta-cells impairs glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and inhibits their sensitivity to hypoglycaemia.
ABSTRACT: AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) signalling plays a key role in whole-body energy homoeostasis, although its precise role in pancreatic beta-cell function remains unclear. In the present study, we therefore investigated whether AMPK plays a critical function in beta-cell glucose sensing and is required for the maintenance of normal glucose homoeostasis. Mice lacking AMPK alpha2 in beta-cells and a population of hypothalamic neurons (RIPCre alpha2KO mice) and RIPCre alpha2KO mice lacking AMPK alpha1 (alpha1KORIPCre alpha2KO) globally were assessed for whole-body glucose homoeostasis and insulin secretion. Isolated pancreatic islets from these mice were assessed for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and gene expression changes. Cultured beta-cells were examined electrophysiologically for their electrical responsiveness to hypoglycaemia. RIPCre alpha2KO mice exhibited glucose intolerance and impaired GSIS (glucose-stimulated insulin secretion) and this was exacerbated in alpha1KORIPCre alpha2KO mice. Reduced glucose concentrations failed to completely suppress insulin secretion in islets from RIPCre alpha2KO and alpha1KORIPCre alpha2KO mice, and conversely GSIS was impaired. Beta-cells lacking AMPK alpha2 or expressing a kinase-dead AMPK alpha2 failed to hyperpolarize in response to low glucose, although KATP (ATP-sensitive potassium) channel function was intact. We could detect no alteration of GLUT2 (glucose transporter 2), glucose uptake or glucokinase that could explain this glucose insensitivity. UCP2 (uncoupling protein 2) expression was reduced in RIPCre alpha2KO islets and the UCP2 inhibitor genipin suppressed low-glucose-mediated wild-type mouse beta-cell hyperpolarization, mimicking the effect of AMPK alpha2 loss. These results show that AMPK alpha2 activity is necessary to maintain normal pancreatic beta-cell glucose sensing, possibly by maintaining high beta-cell levels of UCP2.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>Uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2) may regulate glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. The current study investigated the effects of berberine, an alkaloid found in many medicinal plants, on oxidative stress and insulin secretion through restoration of UCP2 expression in high glucose (HG)-treated INS-1E cells and rat islets or in db/db mouse islets.<h4>Experimental approach</h4>Mouse and rat pancreatic islets were isolated. Nitrotyrosine, superoxide dismutase (SOD)-1 and UCP2 expression and AMPK phosphorylation were examined by Western blotting. Insulin secretion was measured by ELISA. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was detected by confocal microscopy.<h4>Key results</h4>Incubation of INS-1E cells and rat islets with HG (30 mmol·L(-1); 8 h) elevated nitrotyrosine level, reduced SOD-1 and UCP2 expression and AMPK phosphorylation, and inhibited glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. HG also increased mitochondrial ROS in INS-1E cells. Co-treatment with berberine inhibited such effects. The AMPK inhibitor compound C, the UCP2 inhibitor genipin and adenovirus ucp2 shRNA inhibited these protective effects of berberine. Furthermore, compound C normalized berberine-stimulated UCP2 expression but genipin did not affect AMPK phosphorylation. Islets from db/db mice exhibited elevated nitrotyrosine levels, reduced expression of SOD-1 and UCP2 and AMPK phosphorylation, and decreased insulin secretion compared with those from db/m(+) mice. Berberine also improved these defects in diabetic islets and genipin blocked the effects of berberine.<h4>Conclusions and implications</h4>Berberine inhibited oxidative stress and restored insulin secretion in HG-treated INS-IE cells and diabetic mouse islets by activating AMPK and UCP2. UCP2 is an important signalling molecule in mediating anti-diabetic effects of berberine.
Project description:<h4>Aims/hypothesis</h4>We assessed whether per-arnt-sim (PAS) domain-containing protein kinase (PASK) is involved in the regulation of glucagon secretion.<h4>Methods</h4>mRNA levels were measured in islets by quantitative PCR and in pancreatic beta cells obtained by laser capture microdissection. Glucose tolerance, plasma hormone levels and islet hormone secretion were analysed in C57BL/6 Pask homozygote knockout mice (Pask-/-) and control littermates. Alpha-TC1-9 cells, human islets or cultured E13.5 rat pancreatic epithelia were transduced with anti-Pask or control small interfering RNAs, or with adenoviruses encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein or PASK.<h4>Results</h4>PASK expression was significantly lower in islets from human type 2 diabetic than control participants. PASK mRNA was present in alpha and beta cells from mouse islets. In Pask-/- mice, fasted blood glucose and plasma glucagon levels were 25 ± 5% and 50 ± 8% (mean ± SE) higher, respectively, than in control mice. At inhibitory glucose concentrations (10 mmol/l), islets from Pask-/- mice secreted 2.04 ± 0.2-fold (p < 0.01) more glucagon and 2.63 ± 0.3-fold (p < 0.01) less insulin than wild-type islets. Glucose failed to inhibit glucagon secretion from PASK-depleted alpha-TC1-9 cells, whereas PASK overexpression inhibited glucagon secretion from these cells and human islets. Extracellular insulin (20 nmol/l) inhibited glucagon secretion from control and PASK-deficient alpha-TC1-9 cells. PASK-depleted alpha-TC1-9 cells and pancreatic embryonic explants displayed increased expression of the preproglucagon (Gcg) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-alpha2 (Prkaa2) genes, implying a possible role for AMPK-alpha2 downstream of PASK in the control of glucagon gene expression and release.<h4>Conclusions/interpretation</h4>PASK is involved in the regulation of glucagon secretion by glucose and may be a useful target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Project description:Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2), a mitochondrial protein, is known to be upregulated in pancreatic islets of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM); however, the pathological significance of this increase in UCP2 expression is unclear. In this study, we highlight the molecular link between the increase in UCP2 expression in β-cells and β-cell failure by using genetically engineered mice and human islets. β-cell-specific UCP2-overexpressing transgenic mice (βUCP2Tg) exhibited glucose intolerance and a reduction in insulin secretion. Decreased mitochondrial function and increased aldolase B (AldB) expression through oxidative-stress-mediated pathway were observed in βUCP2Tg islets. AldB, a glycolytic enzyme, was associated with reduced insulin secretion via mitochondrial dysfunction and impaired calcium release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Taken together, our findings provide a new mechanism of β-cell dysfunction by UCP2 and AldB. Targeting the UCP2/AldB axis is a promising approach for the recovery of β-cell function.
Project description:AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an evolutionarily conserved enzyme and a target of glucose-lowering agents, including metformin. However, the precise role or roles of the enzyme in controlling insulin secretion remain uncertain. METHODS:The catalytic alpha1 and alpha2 subunits of AMPK were ablated selectively in mouse pancreatic beta cells and hypothalamic neurons by breeding Ampkalpha1 [also known as Prkaa1]-knockout mice, bearing floxed Ampkalpha2 [also known as Prkaa2] alleles (Ampkalpha1 ( -/- ),alpha2( fl/fl ),), with mice expressing Cre recombinase under the rat insulin promoter (RIP2). RIP2 was used to express constitutively activated AMPK selectively in beta cells in transgenic mice. Food intake, body weight and urinary catecholamines were measured using metabolic cages. Glucose and insulin tolerance were determined after intraperitoneal injection. Beta cell mass and morphology were analysed by optical projection tomography and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy, respectively. Granule docking, insulin secretion, membrane potential and intracellular free Ca(2+) were measured with standard techniques. RESULTS:Trigenic Ampkalpha1 ( -/- ),alpha2( fl/fl ) expressing Cre recombinase and lacking both AMPKalpha subunits in the beta cell, displayed normal body weight and increased insulin sensitivity, but were profoundly insulin-deficient. Secreted catecholamine levels were unchanged. Total beta cell mass was unaltered, while mean islet and beta cell volume were reduced. AMPK-deficient beta cells displayed normal glucose-induced changes in membrane potential and intracellular free Ca(2+), while granule docking and insulin secretion were enhanced. Conversely, betaAMPK transgenic mice were glucose-intolerant and displayed defective insulin secretion. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:Inhibition of AMPK activity within the beta cell is necessary, but not sufficient for stimulation of insulin secretion by glucose to occur. AMPK activation in extrapancreatic RIP2.Cre-expressing cells might also influence insulin secretion in vivo.
Project description:In pancreatic beta-cells, uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) influences mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and insulin secretion. Here, we show that alpha-cells express significantly higher levels of UCP2 than do beta-cells. Greater mitochondrial UCP2-related uncoupling was observed in alpha-cells compared with beta-cells and was accompanied by a lower oxidative phosphorylation efficiency (ATP/O). Conversely, reducing UCP2 activity in alpha-cells was associated with higher mitochondrial membrane potential generated by glucose oxidation and with increased ATP synthesis, indicating more efficient metabolic coupling. In vitro, the suppression of UCP2 activity led to reduced glucagon secretion in response to low glucose; however, in vivo, fasting glucagon levels were normal in UCP2(-/-) mice. In addition to its effects on secretion, UCP2 played a cytoprotective role in islets, with UCP2(-/-) alpha-cells being more sensitive to specific death stimuli. In summary, we demonstrate a direct role for UCP2 in maintaining alpha-cell function at the level of glucose metabolism, glucagon secretion, and cytoprotection.
Project description:<h4>Aims/hypothesis</h4>Glucagon release from pancreatic alpha cells is required for normal glucose homoeostasis and is dysregulated in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The tumour suppressor LKB1 (STK11) and the downstream kinase AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), modulate cellular metabolism and growth, and AMPK is an important target of the anti-hyperglycaemic agent metformin. While LKB1 and AMPK have emerged recently as regulators of beta cell mass and insulin secretion, the role of these enzymes in the control of glucagon production in vivo is unclear.<h4>Methods</h4>Here, we ablated LKB1 (αLKB1KO), or the catalytic alpha subunits of AMPK (αAMPKdKO, -α1KO, -α2KO), selectively in ∼45% of alpha cells in mice by deleting the corresponding flox'd alleles with a preproglucagon promoter (PPG) Cre.<h4>Results</h4>Blood glucose levels in male αLKB1KO mice were lower during intraperitoneal glucose, aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) or arginine tolerance tests, and glucose infusion rates were increased in hypoglycemic clamps (p < 0.01). αLKB1KO mice also displayed impaired hypoglycemia-induced glucagon release. Glucose infusion rates were also elevated (p < 0.001) in αAMPKα1 null mice, and hypoglycemia-induced plasma glucagon increases tended to be lower (p = 0.06). Glucagon secretion from isolated islets was sensitized to the inhibitory action of glucose in αLKB1KO, αAMPKdKO, and -α1KO, but not -α2KO islets.<h4>Conclusions/interpretation</h4>An LKB1-dependent signalling cassette, involving but not restricted to AMPKα1, is required in pancreatic alpha cells for the control of glucagon release by glucose.
Project description:<h4>Aims/hypothesis</h4>Pancreatic beta-cell mass expands through adulthood under certain conditions. The related molecular mechanisms are elusive. This study was designed to determine whether surviving (also known as Birc5), which is transiently expressed perinatally in islets, was required for beta-cell mass expansion in the pancreatic duct-ligated mouse model.<h4>Methods</h4>Mice with beta cell-specific deletion of survivin (RIPCre(+)survivin(fl/fl)) and their control littermates (RIPCre(+)survivin(+/+)) were examined to determine the essential role of survivin in partial pancreatic duct ligation (PDL)-induced beta-cell proliferation, function and survival.<h4>Results</h4>Resurgence of survivin expression occurred as early as day 3 post-PDL. By day 7 post-PDL, control mice showed significant expansion of beta-cell mass and increase in beta-cell proliferation and islet number in the ligated tail of the pancreas. However, mice deficient in beta-cell survivin showed a defect in beta-cell mass expansion and proliferation with a marked attenuation in the increase of total islet number, largely due to an impairment in the increase in number of larger islets while sparing the increase in number of small islets in the ligated tail of pancreas, resulting in insufficient insulin secretion and glucose intolerance. Importantly however, beta cell neogenesis and apoptosis were not affected by the absence of survivin in beta cells after PDL.<h4>Conclusions/interpretation</h4>Our results indicate that survivin is essential for beta-cell mass expansion after PDL. Survivin appears to exhibit a preferential requirement for proliferation of preexisting beta cells.
Project description:Regulation of glucose homeostasis by insulin depends on ?-cell growth and function. Nutrients and growth factor stimuli converge on the conserved protein kinase mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), existing in two complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. To understand the functional relevance of mTOR enzymatic activity in ?-cell development and glucose homeostasis, we generated mice overexpressing either one or two copies of a kinase-dead mTOR mutant (KD-mTOR) transgene exclusively in ?-cells. We examined glucose homeostasis and ?-cell function of these mice fed a control chow or high-fat diet. Mice with two copies of the transgene [RIPCre;KD-mTOR (Homozygous)] develop glucose intolerance due to a defect in ?-cell function without alterations in ?-cell mass with control chow. Islets from RIPCre;KD-mTOR (Homozygous) mice showed reduced mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling along with transcripts and protein levels of Pdx-1. Islets with reduced mTORC2 signaling in their ?-cells (RIPCre;Rictorfl/fl) also showed reduced Pdx-1. When challenged with a high-fat diet, mice carrying one copy of KD-mTOR mutant transgene developed glucose intolerance and ?-cell insulin secretion defect but showed no changes in ?-cell mass. These findings suggest that the mTOR-mediated signaling pathway is not essential to ?-cell growth but is involved in regulating ?-cell function in normal and diabetogenic conditions.
Project description:Deterioration of pancreatic beta-cells plays a critical role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Among the various stressors contributing to these deleterious effects, glucotoxicity and superoxides have been proposed as major players. In this context, the mitochondrial uncoupling protein UCP2 is regularly associated with the stress response. In the present study, we tested the effects of UCP2 upregulation in mouse islets with beta-cell specific overexpression of UCP2 (RIP-UCP2). Islets were subjected to both chronic glucotoxicity (7 days at 30mM glucose) and acute oxidative stress (200µM H2O2 for 10min). Increased UCP2 expression did not alter mitochondrial potential and ATP generation but protected against glucotoxic effects. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was altered by both glucotoxicity and oxidative stress, in particular through higher basal insulin release at non-stimulatory glucose concentrations. The secretory response to glucose stimulation was partially preserved in beta-cells overexpressing UCP2. The higher rate of cell death induced by chronic high glucose exposure was lower in RIP-UCP2 islets. Finally, superoxide production was reduced by high glucose, both under acute and chronic conditions, and not modified by UCP2 overexpression. In conclusion, upregulation of UCP2 conferred protective effects to the stressed beta-cell through mechanisms not directly associated with superoxide production.
Project description:Insulin receptor substrate 2 (Irs2) plays complex roles in energy homeostasis. We generated mice lacking Irs2 in beta cells and a population of hypothalamic neurons (RIPCreIrs2KO), in all neurons (NesCreIrs2KO), and in proopiomelanocortin neurons (POMCCreIrs2KO) to determine the role of Irs2 in the CNS and beta cell. RIPCreIrs2KO mice displayed impaired glucose tolerance and reduced beta cell mass. Overt diabetes did not ensue, because beta cells escaping Cre-mediated recombination progressively populated islets. RIPCreIrs2KO and NesCreIrs2KO mice displayed hyperphagia, obesity, and increased body length, which suggests altered melanocortin action. POMCCreIrs2KO mice did not display this phenotype. RIPCreIrs2KO and NesCreIrs2KO mice retained leptin sensitivity, which suggests that CNS Irs2 pathways are not required for leptin action. NesCreIrs2KO and POMCCreIrs2KO mice did not display reduced beta cell mass, but NesCreIrs2KO mice displayed mild abnormalities of glucose homeostasis. RIPCre neurons did not express POMC or neuropeptide Y. Insulin and a melanocortin agonist depolarized RIPCre neurons, whereas leptin was ineffective. Insulin hyperpolarized and leptin depolarized POMC neurons. Our findings demonstrate a critical role for IRS2 in beta cell and hypothalamic function and provide insights into the role of RIPCre neurons, a distinct hypothalamic neuronal population, in growth and energy homeostasis.