AAV GCG-EGFP, a new tool to identify glucagon-secreting ?-cells.
ABSTRACT: The study of primary glucagon-secreting ?-cells is hampered by their low abundance and scattered distribution in rodent pancreatic islets. We have designed a double-stranded adeno-associated virus containing a rat proglucagon promoter (700?bp) driving enhanced green fluorescent protein (AAV GCG-EGFP), to specifically identify ?-cells. The administration of AAV GCG-EGFP by intraperitoneal or intraductal injection led to EGFP expression selectively in the ?-cell population. AAV GCG-EGFP delivery to mice followed by islet isolation, dispersion and separation by FACS for EGFP resulted in an 86% pure population of ?-cells. Furthermore, the administration of AAV GCG-EGFP at various doses to adult wild type mice did not significantly alter body weight, blood glucose, plasma insulin or glucagon levels, glucose tolerance or arginine tolerance. In vitro experiments in transgene positive ?-cells demonstrated that EGFP expression did not alter the intracellular Ca2+ pattern in response to glucose or adrenaline. This approach may be useful for studying purified primary ?-cells and for the in vivo delivery of other genes selectively to ?-cells to further probe their function or to manipulate them for therapeutic purposes.
Project description:While the majority of current diabetes treatments focus on reducing blood glucose levels, hypoglycemia represents a significant risk associated with insulin treatment. Glucagon plays a major regulatory role in controlling hypoglycemia in vivo, but its short half-life and hyperglycemic effects prevent its therapeutic use for non-acute applications. The goal of this study was to identify a modified form of glucagon suitable for prophylactic treatment of hypoglycemia without increasing baseline blood glucose levels.Through application of the XTEN technology, we report the construction of a glucagon fusion protein with an extended exposure profile (Gcg-XTEN). The in vivo half-life of the construct was tuned to support nightly dosing through design and testing in cynomolgus monkeys. Efficacy of the construct was assessed in beagle dogs using an insulin challenge to induce hypoglycemia. Dose ranging of Gcg-XTEN in fasted beagle dogs demonstrated that the compound was biologically active with a pharmacodynamic profile consistent with the designed half-life. Prophylactic administration of 0.6 nmol/kg Gcg-XTEN to dogs conferred resistance to a hypoglycemic challenge at 6 hours post-dose without affecting baseline blood glucose levels. Consistent with the designed pharmacokinetic profile, hypoglycemia resistance was not observed at 12 hours post-dose. Importantly, the solubility and stability of the glucagon peptide were also significantly improved by fusion to XTEN.The data show that Gcg-XTEN is effective in preventing hypoglycemia without the associated hyperglycemia expected for unmodified glucagon. While the plasma clearance of this Gcg-XTEN has been optimized for overnight dosing, specifically for the treatment of nocturnal hypoglycemia, constructs with significantly longer exposure profiles are feasible. Such constructs may have multiple applications such as allowing for more aggressive insulin treatment regimens, treating hypoglycemia due to insulin-secreting tumors, providing synergistic efficacy in combination therapies with long-acting GLP1 analogs, and as an appetite suppressant for treatment of obesity. The improved physical properties of the Gcg-XTEN molecule may also allow for novel delivery systems not currently possible with native glucagon.
Project description:The type 2 diabetes risk gene TCF7L2 is the effector of the Wnt signaling pathway. We found previously that in gut endocrine L-cell lines, TCF7L2 controls transcription of the proglucagon gene (gcg), which encodes the incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Whereas peripheral GLP-1 stimulates insulin secretion, brain GLP-1 controls energy homeostasis through yet-to-be defined mechanisms. We aim to determine the metabolic effect of a functional knockdown of TCF7L2 by generating transgenic mice that express dominant-negative TCF7L2 (TCF7L2DN) specifically in gcg-expressing cells. The gcg-TCF7L2DN transgenic mice showed reduced gcg expression in their gut and brain, but not in pancreas. Defects in glucose homeostasis were observed in these mice, associated with attenuated plasma insulin levels in response to glucose challenge. The defect in glucose disposal was exacerbated with high-fat diet. Brain Wnt activity and feeding-mediated hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) repression in these mice were impaired. Peripheral injection of the cAMP-promoting agent forskolin increased brain ?-cat Ser675 phosphorylation and brain gcg expression and restored feeding-mediated hypothalamic AMPK repression. We conclude that TCF7L2 and Wnt signaling control gut and brain gcg expression and glucose homeostasis and speculate that positive cross-talk between Wnt and GLP-1/cAMP signaling is an underlying mechanism for brain GLP-1 in exerting its metabolic functions.
Project description:Rat insulinoma INS-1 cells are widely used to study insulin secretory mechanisms. Studies have shown that a population of INS-1 cells are bi-hormonal, co-expressing insulin, and proglucagon proteins. They coined this population as immature cells since they co-secrete proglucagon-derived peptides from the same secretory vesicles similar to that of insulin. Since proglucagon encodes multiple peptides including glucagon, glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1), GLP-2, oxyntomodulin, and glicentin, their specific expression and secretion are technically challenging. In this study, we aimed to focus on glucagon expression which shares the same amino acid sequence with glicentin and proglucagon. Validation of the anti-glucagon antibody (Abcam) by Western blotting techniques revealed that the antibody detects proglucagon (? 20 kDa), glicentin (? 9 kDa), and glucagon (? 3 kDa) in INS-1 cells and primary islets, all of which were absent in the kidney cell line (HEK293). Using the validated anti-glucagon antibody, we showed by immunofluorescence imaging that a population of INS-1 cells co-express insulin and proglucagon-derived proteins. Furthermore, we found that chronic treatment of INS-1 cells with high-glucose decreases insulin and glucagon content, and also reduces the percentage of bi-hormonal cells. In line with insulin secretion, we found glucagon and glicentin secretion to be induced in a glucose-dependent manner. We conclude that INS-1 cells are a useful model to study glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but not that of glucagon or glicentin. Our study suggests Western blotting technique as an important tool for researchers to study proglucagon-derived peptides expression and regulation in primary islets in response to various metabolic stimuli.
Project description:A pancreatic ?-cell line MIN6 was previously established in our lab from an insulinoma developed in an IT6 transgenic mouse expressing the SV40 T antigen in ?-cells. This cell line has been widely used for in vitro analysis of ?-cell function, but tends to lose the mature ?-cell features, including glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), in long-term culture. The aim of this study was to develop a stable ?-cell line that retains the characteristics of mature ?-cells. Considering that mice derived from a cross between C3H and C57BL/6 strains are known to exhibit higher insulin secretory capacity than C57BL/6 mice, an IT6 male mouse of this hybrid background was used to isolate insulinomas, which were independently cultured. After 7 months of continuous culturing, we obtained the MIN6-CB4 ?-cell line, which stably maintains its GSIS. It has been noted that ?-cell lines express the glucagon (Gcg) gene at certain levels. MIN6-CB4 cells were utilized to assess the effects of differential Gcg expression on ?-cell function. Our data show the functional importance of Gcg expression and resulting basal activation of the GLP-1 receptor in ?-cells. MIN6-CB4 cells can serve as an invaluable tool for studying the regulatory mechanisms of insulin secretion, such as the GLP-1/cAMP signaling, in ?-cells.
Project description:The action of incretin hormones including glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is potentiated in animal models defective in glucagon action. It has been reported that such animal models maintain normoglycaemia under streptozotocin (STZ)-induced beta cell damage. However, the role of GIP in regulation of glucose metabolism under a combination of glucagon deficiency and STZ-induced beta cell damage has not been fully explored.In this study, we investigated glucose metabolism in mice deficient in proglucagon-derived peptides (PGDPs)-namely glucagon gene knockout (GcgKO) mice-administered with STZ. Single high-dose STZ (200 mg/kg, hSTZ) or moderate-dose STZ for five consecutive days (50 mg/kg?×?5, mSTZ) was administered to GcgKO mice. The contribution of GIP to glucose metabolism in GcgKO mice was also investigated by experiments employing dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP4) inhibitor (DPP4i) or Gcg-Gipr double knockout (DKO) mice.GcgKO mice developed severe diabetes by hSTZ administration despite the absence of glucagon. Administration of mSTZ decreased pancreatic insulin content to 18.8?±?3.4 (%) in GcgKO mice, but ad libitum-fed blood glucose levels did not significantly increase. Glucose-induced insulin secretion was marginally impaired in mSTZ-treated GcgKO mice but was abolished in mSTZ-treated DKO mice. Although GcgKO mice lack GLP-1, treatment with DPP4i potentiated glucose-induced insulin secretion and ameliorated glucose intolerance in mSTZ-treated GcgKO mice, but did not increase beta cell area or significantly reduce apoptotic cells in islets.These results indicate that GIP has the potential to ameliorate glucose intolerance even under STZ-induced beta cell damage by increasing insulin secretion rather than by promoting beta cell survival.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Glucagon-like peptides are co-released from enteroendocrine L cells in the gut and preproglucagon (PPG) neurons in the brainstem. PPG-derived GLP-1/2 are probably key neuroendocrine signals for the control of energy balance and glucose homeostasis. The objective of this study was to determine whether activation of PPG neurons per se modulates glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in vivo. METHODS:We generated glucagon (Gcg) promoter-driven Cre transgenic mice and injected excitatory hM3Dq-mCherry AAV into their brainstem NTS. We characterized the metabolic impact of PPG neuron activation on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity using stable isotopic tracers coupled with hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. RESULTS:We showed that after ip injection of clozapine N-oxide, Gcg-Cre lean mice transduced with hM3Dq in the brainstem NTS downregulated basal endogenous glucose production and enhanced glucose tolerance following ip glucose tolerance test. Moreover, acute activation of PPG neuronsNTS enhanced whole-body insulin sensitivity as indicated by increased glucose infusion rate as well as augmented insulin-suppression of endogenous glucose production and gluconeogenesis. In contrast, insulin-stimulation of glucose disposal was not altered significantly. CONCLUSIONS:We conclude that acute activation of PPG neurons in the brainstem reduces basal glucose production, enhances intraperitoneal glucose tolerance, and augments hepatic insulin sensitivity, suggesting an important physiological role of PPG neurons-mediated circuitry in promoting glycemic control and insulin sensitivity.
Project description:Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are characterized by insulin resistance and impaired glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) secretion/function. Lipotoxicity, a chronic elevation of free fatty acids in the blood, could affect insulin-signaling in many peripheral tissues. To date, the effects of lipotoxicity on the insulin receptor and insulin resistance in the intestinal L-cells need to be elucidated. Moreover, recent observations indicate that L-cells may be able to process not only GLP-1 but also glucagon from proglucagon. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic palmitate exposure on insulin pathways, GLP-1 secretion and glucagon synthesis in the GLUTag L-cell line. Cells were cultured in the presence/absence of palmitate (0.5 mM) for 24 h to mimic lipotoxicity. Palmitate treatment affected insulin-stimulated GLP-1 secretion, insulin receptor phosphorylation and IRS-1-AKT pathway signaling. In our model lipotoxicity induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK 44/42) activation both in insulin stimulated and basal conditions and also up-regulated paired box 6 (PAX6) and proglucagon expression (Gcg). Interestingly, palmitate treatment caused an increased glucagon secretion through the up-regulation of prohormone convertase 2. These results indicate that a state of insulin resistance could be responsible for secretory alterations in L-cells through the impairment of insulin-signaling pathways. Our data support the hypothesis that lipotoxicity might contribute to L-cell deregulation.
Project description:?-cells are the second most prominent cell type in pancreatic islets and are responsible for producing glucagon to increase plasma glucose levels in times of fasting. ?-cell dysfunction and inappropriate glucagon secretion occur in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Thus, there is growing interest in studying both normal function and pathophysiology of ?-cells. However, tools to target gene ablation or activation specifically of ?-cells have been limited, compared to those available for ?-cells. Previous Glucagon-Cre and Glucagon-CreER transgenic mouse lines have suffered from transgene silencing, and the only available Glucagon-CreER "knock-in" mouse line results in glucagon haploinsufficiency, which can confound the interpretation of gene deletion analyses. Therefore, we sought to develop a Glucagon-CreERT2 mouse line that would maintain normal glucagon expression and would be less susceptible to transgene silencing.We utilized CRISPR-Cas9 technology to insert an IRES-CreERT2 sequence into the 3' UTR of the Glucagon (Gcg) locus in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Targeted ESC clones were then injected into mouse blastocysts to obtain Gcg-CreERT2 mice. Recombination efficiency in GCG+ pancreatic ?-cells and glucagon-like peptide 1 positive (GLP1+) enteroendocrine L-cells was measured in Gcg-CreERT2 ;Rosa26-LSL-YFP mice injected with tamoxifen during fetal development and adulthood.Tamoxifen injection of Gcg-CreERT2 ;Rosa26-LSL-YFP mice induced high recombination efficiency of the Rosa26-LSL-YFP locus in perinatal and adult ?-cells (88% and 95%, respectively), as well as in first-wave fetal ?-cells (36%) and adult enteroendocrine L-cells (33%). Mice homozygous for the Gcg-CreERT2 allele were phenotypically normal.We successfully derived a Gcg-CreERT2 mouse line that expresses CreERT2 in pancreatic ?-cells and enteroendocrine L-cells without disrupting preproglucagon gene expression. These mice will be a useful tool for performing temporally controlled genetic manipulation specifically in these cell types.
Project description:Liver zonation characterizes the separation of metabolic pathways along the lobules and is required for optimal function. Wnt/beta-catenin signaling controls metabolic zonation by activating genes in the perivenous hepatocytes, while suppressing genes in the periportal counterparts. We now demonstrate that glucagon opposes the actions of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling on gene expression and metabolic zonation pattern. The effects were more pronounced in the periportal hepatocytes where 28% of all genes were activated by glucagon and inhibited by Wnt/beta-catenin. The glucagon and Wnt/beta-catenin receptors and their signaling pathways are uniformly distributed in periportal and perivenous hepatocytes and the expression is not regulated by the opposing signal. Collectively, our results show that glucagon controls gene expression and metabolic zonation in the liver through a counter play with the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. Overall design: Gene expression profiling of Gcg-/- and wild type mice in liver with and without glucagon infusion.
Project description:Liver zonation characterizes the separation of metabolic pathways along the lobules and is required for optimal function. Wnt/beta-catenin signaling controls metabolic zonation by activating genes in the perivenous hepatocytes, while suppressing genes in the periportal counterparts. We now demonstrate that glucagon opposes the actions of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling on gene expression and metabolic zonation pattern. The effects were more pronounced in the periportal hepatocytes where 28% of all genes were activated by glucagon and inhibited by Wnt/beta-catenin. The glucagon and Wnt/beta-catenin receptors and their signaling pathways are uniformly distributed in periportal and perivenous hepatocytes and the expression is not regulated by the opposing signal. Collectively, our results show that glucagon controls gene expression and metabolic zonation in the liver through a counter play with the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. Overall design: Gene expression profiling of Gcg-/- and wild type mice in liver