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D. J. Slee, P. M. Jones and S. L. Howell

ABSTRACT

Proinsulin conversion to insulin was studied using electrically permeabilized rat islets of Langerhans. Using high-performance liquid chromotography separation of radiolabelled islet proteins, we have demonstrated that conversion was dependent upon temperature, sensitive to pH and regulated by MgATP. Ammonium acetate was used to collapse the granular pH gradient, over a pH range of 3·5–7·4. Conversion was optimum at pH 4·5–5·5 and was reduced, but not abolished, at pH 7·4. Ca2+ (10 μm) and 4β-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (500 nm), which are insulin secretagogues in permeabilized islets, caused no significant stimulation of conversion.

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N. S. Berrow, G. Milligan and N. G. Morgan

ABSTRACT

Inhibition of insulin secretion from rat islets of Langerhans is known to involve at least one pertussis toxin-sensitive guanine-nucleotide binding (G) protein. We have used antisera raised against unique antigenic determinants of different members of the family of pertussis toxin-sensitive G proteins to identify these proteins in rat islets. Antiserum SG1, which recognizes both Gi1 and Gi2, reacted with an islet protein having an approximate M r of 40 000. Antiserum IlC (Gi1 specific) failed to recognize any islet proteins, suggesting that Gi2 is present in much greater amounts than Gi1. Indeed, Gi1 levels were below the detection limit of a sensitive immunogold/silver-staining method, indicating that it may be absent from the cells of rat islets.

Two different antisera were used to identify Go-like G proteins in rat islet homogenates. Both antisera reacted with a protein band which, under appropriate conditions, could be resolved to reveal two separate proteins of M r 39–40 000. Thus, at least two molecular forms of Go are present in rat islets.

Subcellular fractionation indicated that all three G proteins identified in this study (Gi2 and two forms of Go) are localized to islet membranes. No immunoreactivity could be detected in the cytosolic fraction.

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T. Bjaaland, C. S. T. Hii, P. M. Jones and S. L. Howell

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the effect of pretreatment with the phorbol ester phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) on arginine-induced glucagon secretion. Isolated islets of Langerhans were pretreated by culturing for 18–24 h in the presence of 200 nm of the tumour-promoting phorbol ester PMA or 200 nm of the non-tumour-promoting phorbol ester 4-phorbol didecanoate (PDD). Islets pretreated with PMA did not secrete glucagon in response to 0·1 or 1 μm PMA on subsequent incubation, in contrast to PDD-pretreated islets which responded significantly on subsequent incubation with PMA. Pretreatment with PMA led to impairment of arginine-induced glucagon secretion. PMA-pretreated islets permeabilized by high-voltage discharge retained their normal secretory responses to calcium and cyclic AMP, but had an impaired secretory response to PMA. These results suggest (1) that protein kinase C (PKC) is likely to be present in the A cell, (2) that short-term culture in tumour-promoting phorbol ester leads to down-regulation of PKC, (3) that the PKC pathway is involved in arginine-induced glucagon secretion and (4) that pretreatment does not effect the A cell response to other intracellular mediators.

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T. Bjaaland, P. M. Jones and S. L. Howell

ABSTRACT

The roles of calcium, cyclic AMP (cAMP), activation of protein kinase C (PKC) and the effect of ATP on glucagon secretion were investigated in intact and permeabilized rat islets of Langerhans, Ca2+ (10 nm-10 μm) stimulated glucagon secretion from electrically permeabilized islets in a dose-dependent manner. Forskolin and cAMP stimulated secretion from intact and permeabilized islets respectively, the latter at both sub-stimulatory (50 nm) and stimulatory (10 μm) Ca2+ concentrations. The tumour-promoting phorbol ester phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) increased secretion from both intact and permeabilized islets. In the latter, PMA increased glucagon release at both Ca2+ concentrations, the effect being enhanced at the stimulatory Ca2+ concentration, over and above that caused by Ca alone. Reduction of ATP content by incubation with the metabolic inhibitor 2,4-dinitrophenol resulted in an increased basal release of glucagon from intact islets, whilst arginine-induced glucagon secretion was abolished in both intact and permeabilized islets. Ca2+-induced glucagon secretion required MgATP in the permeabilized islets of Langerhans. These results suggest that Ca2+ acts as an initiator of glucagon secretion, whilst cAMP and activation of PKC may exert their effect as modulators of secretion. ATP is required for glucagon secretion in electrically permeabilized islets and is necessary for arginine-induced glucagon secretion in both intact and permeabilized islets.

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A. M. Band, P. M. Jones and S. L. Howell

ABSTRACT

There is growing evidence that arachidonic acid (AA) and/or its metabolites may be involved in the control of insulin secretion. We have now investigated the effect of AA on insulin secretion from rat islets, and the possible involvement of protein kinase C (PKC) in this process. Exogenous AA stimulated insulin secretion from intact islets at a substimulatory concentration of glucose (2 mm), but did not further enhance glucose-induced (20 mm) insulin secretion. AA-induced insulin secretion was temperature dependent. The secretory responses seen at 37°C were totally abolished by reducing the incubation temperature to ≤34°C. AA-induced insulin secretion was not dependent upon extracellular Ca2+ and was potentiated by omission of Ca2+ or bovine serum albumin from the media. PKC in rat islets can thus be stimulated by AA, but the stimulation of PKC is not required for AA-induced insulin secretion.

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R. D. Hurst and N. G. Morgan

ABSTRACT

The mechanisms involved in inhibition of insulin secretion by somatostatin and noradrenaline were compared in order to establish whether the receptors for these agents are coupled to similar effector systems in the pancreatic B cell. Both agents significantly reduced forskolin-induced adenylate cyclase activity in islet homogenates, although noradrenaline was more effective than somatostatin. The capacity of noradrenaline to inhibit insulin secretion was largely unaffected by agents that increase intracellular cyclic AMP, whereas the effect of somatostatin as an inhibitor was markedly reduced under these conditions. Both noradrenaline and somatostatin inhibited the stimulation of insulin secretion induced by K+ depolarization, but different mechanism were involved. Somatostatin significantly inhibited K+-stimulated 45Ca2+ efflux and influx in islets, while noradrenaline exerted only a minor influence on these processes. The data indicate that noradrenaline controls insulin secretion by a mechanism which operates beyond the level of intracellular messenger generation. In contrast, somatostatin exerts at least part of its inhibitory effect on insulin secretion by directly controlling islet cell Ca2+ influx in a manner which may be regulated by cyclic AMP.

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Z Ma, D F J Ketelhuth, T Wirström, T Ohki, M J Forteza, H Wang, V Grill, C B Wollheim and A Björklund

for Laboratory Animals. The committee specifically approved the study. Islets of Langerhans were isolated from CD36 −/− and control mice (3–4 months old) by collagenase digestion in Hanks’ balanced salt solution, followed by sedimentation. Islets were

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Pamela Petrocchi-Passeri, Cheryl Cero, Alessandro Cutarelli, Claudio Frank, Cinzia Severini, Alessandro Bartolomucci and Roberta Possenti

diseases ( Bartolomucci et al . 2011 ). VGF is expressed and the peptides are stored in β cells ( Possenti et al . 1989 ) and other cell types of the islet of Langerhans as well as in intramural fibers and ganglia of the pancreas ( Cocco et al . 2007

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Shalinee Dhayal, Francesco P Zummo, Matthew W Anderson, Patricia Thomas, Hannah J Welters, Catherine Arden and Noel G Morgan

Long-chain saturated fatty acids are lipotoxic to pancreatic β-cells, whereas most unsaturates are better tolerated and some may even be cytoprotective. Fatty acids alter autophagy in β-cells and there is increasing evidence that such alterations can impact directly on the regulation of viability. Accordingly, we have compared the effects of palmitate (C16:0) and palmitoleate (C16:1) on autophagy in cultured β-cells and human islets. Treatment of BRIN-BD11 β-cells with palmitate led to enhanced autophagic activity, as judged by cleavage of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-I (LC3-I) and this correlated with a marked loss of cell viability in the cells. In addition, transfection of these cells with an mCherry-YFP-LC3 reporter construct revealed the accumulation of autophagosomes in palmitate-treated cells, indicating an impairment of autophagosome-lysosome fusion. This was also seen upon addition of the vacuolar ATPase inhibitor, bafilomycin A1. Exposure of BRIN-BD11 cells to palmitoleate (C16:1) did not lead directly to changes in autophagic activity or flux, but it antagonised the actions of palmitate. In parallel, palmitoleate also improved the viability of palmitate-treated BRIN-BD11 cells. Equivalent responses were observed in INS-1E cells and in isolated human islets. Taken together, these data suggest that palmitate may cause an impairment of autophagosome-lysosome fusion. These effects were not reproduced by palmitoleate which, instead, antagonised the responses mediated by palmitate suggesting that attenuation of β-cell stress may contribute to the improvement in cell viability caused by the mono-unsaturated fatty acid.