Regulation of Glucagon Secretion in Normal and Diabetic Human Islets by Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate and Glycine.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, United States
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 12/2012; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112.385682
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Paracrine signaling between pancreatic islet beta-cells and alpha-cells has been proposed to play a role in regulating glucagon responses to elevated glucose and hypoglycemia. To examine this possibility in human islets, we employed a metabolomic approach to trace the responses of amino acids and other potential neurotransmitters to stimulation with [U-13C]glucose in both normals and type 2 diabetics. Islets from type 2 diabetics uniformly showed decreased glucose stimulation of insulin secretion and respiratory rate, but demonstrated two different patterns of glucagon responses to glucose: one group responded normally to suppression of glucagon by glucose, but the second group was non-responsive. The non-responsive group showed evidence of suppressed islet GABA levels and of GABA shunt activity. In further studies with normal human islets, we found that gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a potent inhibitory neurotransmitter, is generated in beta-cells by an extension of the GABA shunt during glucose stimulation and interacts with alpha-cell GHB receptors, thus, mediating the suppressive effect of glucose on glucagon release. We also identified glycine, acting via alpha-cell glycine receptors, as the predominant amino acid stimulator of glucagon release. The results suggest that glycine and GHB provide a counterbalancing receptor-based mechanism for controlling alpha-cell secretory responses to metabolic fuels.

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    02/2014; 1(1):e000103. DOI:10.1136/openhrt-2014-000103
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been known as 'bi-hormonal disorder' since decades ago, the role of glucagon from α-cell has languished whereas β-cell taking center stage. Recently, numerous findings indicate that the defects of glucagon secretion get involve with development and exacerbation of hyperglycemia in T2D. Aberrant α-cell responses exhibit both fasting and postprandial states: hyperglucagonemia contributes to fasting hyperglycemia caused by inappropriate hepatic glucose production, and to postprandial hyperglycemia owing to blunted α-cell suppression. During hypoglycemia, insufficient counter-regulation response is also observed in advanced T2D. Though many debates still remained for exact mechanisms behind the dysregulation of α-cell in T2D, it is clear that the blockade of glucagon receptor or suppression of glucagon secretion from α-cell would be novel therapeutic targets for control of hyperglycemia. Whereas there have not been remarkable advances in developing new class of drugs, currently available glucagon-like peptide-1 and dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitors could be options for treatment of hyperglucagonemia. In this review, we focus on α-cell dysfunction and therapeutic potentials of targeting α-cell in T2D.
    Diabetes & metabolism journal 02/2015; 39(1):1-9. DOI:10.4093/dmj.2015.39.1.1
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    ABSTRACT: Normal glucose homeostasis is characterized by appropriate insulin secretion and low HbA1c. Gene expression signatures associated with these two phenotypes could be essential for islet function and patho-physiology of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Herein, we employed a novel approach to identify candidate genes involved in T2D by correlating islet microarray gene expression data (78 donors) with insulin secretion and HbA1c level. Expression of 649 genes (p<0.05) was correlated with insulin secretion and HbA1c. Of them, 5 genes (GLR1A, PPP1R1A, PLCDXD3, FAM105A and ENO2) correlated positively with insulin secretion/negatively with HbA1c and one gene (GNG5) correlated negatively with insulin secretion/positively with HbA1c were followed up. The 5 positively correlated genes have lower expression levels in diabetic islets, whereas, GNG5 expression is higher. Exposure of human islets to high glucose for 24 hrs resulted in up-regulation of GNG5 and PPP1R1A expression, while expression of ENO2 and GLRA1 was down-regulated. No effect was seen on the expression of FAM105A and PLCXD3. siRNA silencing in INS-1 832/13 cells showed reduction in insulin secretion for PPP1R1A, PLXCD3, ENO2, FAM105A and GNG5 but not GLRA1. Although, no SNP in these gene loci passed the genome-wide significance for association with T2D in DIAGRAM+ database, four SNPs influenced gene expression in cis in human islets. In conclusion, we identified and confirmed PPP1R1A, FAM105A, ENO2, PLCDX3 and GNG5 as potential regulators of islet function. We provide a list of candidate genes as a resource for exploring their role in the pathogenesis of T2D. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
    Human Molecular Genetics 12/2014; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddu610 · 6.68 Impact Factor


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Dec 5, 2014