Alexandra E Butler

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States

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Publications (46)256.3 Total impact

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    Diabetes 10/2013; 62(10):e19-22. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    Diabetologia 09/2013; · 6.49 Impact Factor
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    Diabetes care 07/2013; 36(7):e112. · 7.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Controversy exists regarding the potential regenerative influences of incretin therapy on pancreatic β cells versus possible adverse pancreatic proliferative effects. Examination of pancreata from age matched organ donors with type 2 diabetes (DM) treated by incretin therapy (n=8) or other therapy (n=12) and non diabetic controls (n=14) reveals a ∼40% increased pancreatic mass in DM treated with incretin therapy with both increased exocrine cell proliferation (p<0.0001) and dysplasia (increased pancreatic intraepithelia neoplasia, p<0.01). Pancreas in DM treated with incretin therapy was notable for α cell hyperplasia and glucagon expressing microadenomas (3/8) and a neuroendocrine tumor. β cell mass was reduced by approximately 60% in those with DM, yet a 6 fold increase was observed in incretin treated subjects although diabetes persists. Endocrine cells co-staining for insulin and glucagon were increased in DM compared to non diabetic controls (p<0.05) and markedly further increased by incretin therapy (p<0.05). In conclusion, in humans, incretin therapy resulted in a marked expansion of the exocrine and endocrine pancreatic compartments, the former being accompanied by increased proliferation and dysplasia, the latter by α cell hyperplasia with the potential for evolution into neuroendocrine tumors.
    Diabetes 03/2013; · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE We sought to establish β-cell mass, β-cell apoptosis, and β-cell replication in humans in response to obesity and advanced age.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We examined human autopsy pancreas from 167 nondiabetic individuals 20-102 years of age. The effect of obesity on β-cell mass was examined in 53 lean and 61 obese subjects, and the effect of aging was examined in 106 lean subjects.RESULTSβ-Cell mass is increased by ∼50% with obesity (from 0.8 to 1.2 g). With advanced aging, the exocrine pancreas undergoes atrophy but β-cell mass is remarkably preserved. There is minimal β-cell replication or apoptosis in lean humans throughout life with no detectable changes with obesity or advanced age.CONCLUSIONSβ-Cell mass in human obesity increases by ∼50% by an increase in β-cell number, the source of which is unknown. β-Cell mass is well preserved in humans with advanced aging.
    Diabetes care 08/2012; · 7.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The beta cell transcriptional factor musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene family A (MafA) regulates genes important for beta cell function. Loss of nuclear MafA has been implicated in beta cell dysfunction in animal models of type 2 diabetes. We sought to establish if nuclear MafA is less abundant in beta cell nuclei in humans with type 2 diabetes. Pancreas obtained at surgery from five non-diabetic individuals and six individuals with type 2 diabetes was immunostained for insulin, glucagon and MafA. Beta cell nuclear MafA was markedly decreased in type 2 diabetes (1.6 ± 1.2% vs 46.3 ± 8.3%, p < 0.001). Beta cell nuclear MafA is markedly decreased in humans with type 2 diabetes, which may contribute to impaired beta cell dysfunction.
    Diabetologia 07/2012; 55(11):2985-8. · 6.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Medipix detector is the first device dedicated to measuring mixed-field radiation in the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment cavern and able to distinguish between different particle types. Medipix2-MXR chips bump bonded to silicon sensors with various neutron conversion layers developed by the IEAP CTU in Prague were successfully installed for the 2008 LHC start-up in the CMS experimental and services caverns to measure the flux of various particle types, in particular neutrons. They have operated almost continuously during the 2010 run period, and the results shown here are from the proton run between the beginning of July and the end of October 2010. Clear signals are seen and different particle types have been observed during regular LHC luminosity running, and an agreement in the measured flux is found with the simulations. These initial results are promising, and indicate that these devices have the potential for further and future LHC and high energy physics applications as radiation monitoring devices for mixed field environments, including neutron flux monitoring. Further extensions are foreseen in the near future to increase the performance of the detector and its coverage for monitoring in CMS.
    Journal of Instrumentation 08/2011; 6(08):P08005. · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to establish if stem cells contained in cord blood cell allografts have the capacity to differentiate into insulin-expressing beta cells in humans. We studied pancreases obtained at autopsy from individuals (n = 11) who had prior opposite-sex cord blood transplants to reconstitute haematopoiesis. Pancreatic tissue sections were stained first by XY-fluorescence in situ hybridisation and then insulin immunohistochemistry. Pancreases obtained at autopsy from participants without cord blood cell infusions served as controls (n = 11). In the men with prior transplant of female cord blood, there were 3.4 ± 0.3% XX-positive insulin-expressing islet cells compared with 0.32 ± 0.05% (p < 0.01) in male controls. In women with prior transplant of male cord blood cells we detected 1.03 ± 0.20% XY insulin-expressing islet cells compared with 0.03 ± 0.03 in female controls (p < 0. 001). Cord blood stem cells have the capacity to differentiate into insulin-expressing cells in non-diabetic humans. It remains to be established whether these cells have the properties of beta cells.
    Diabetologia 02/2011; 54(5):1066-74. · 6.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: β-Cell turnover and its potential to permit β-cell regeneration in adult primates are unknown. Our aims were 1) to measure β-cell turnover in adult nonhuman primates; 2) to establish the relative contribution of β-cell replication and formation of new β-cells from other precursors (defined thus as β-cell neogenesis); and 3) to establish whether there is an adaptive increase in β-cell formation (attempted regeneration) in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes in adult nonhuman primates. Adult (aged 7 years) vervet monkeys were administered STZ (45-55 mg/kg, n = 7) or saline (n = 9). Pancreas was obtained from each animal twice, first by open surgical biopsy and then by euthanasia. β-Cell turnover was evaluated by applying a mathematic model to measured replication and apoptosis rates. β-Cell turnover is present in adult nonhuman primates (3.3 ± 0.9 mg/month), mostly (~80%) derived from β-cell neogenesis. β-Cell formation was minimal in STZ-induced diabetes. Despite marked hyperglycemia, β-cell apoptosis was not increased in monkeys administered STZ. There is ongoing β-cell turnover in adult nonhuman primates that cannot be accounted for by β-cell replication. There is no evidence of β-cell regeneration in monkeys administered STZ. Hyperglycemia does not induce β-cell apoptosis in nonhuman primates in vivo.
    Diabetes 02/2011; 60(3):848-56. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since the fundamental defect in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is β-cell failure, there is increasing interest in the capacity, if any, for β-cell regeneration. Insights into typical β-cell age and lifespan during normal development and how these are influenced in diabetes is desirable to realistically establish the prospects for β-cell regeneration as means to reverse the deficit in β-cell mass in diabetes. We assessed the mean β-cell age and lifespan by the classical McKendrick-von Foester equation that describes the age-based heterogeneity of β-cells in terms of the time-varying β-cell formation and loss estimated by a β-cell turnover model. This modeling approach was applied to evaluate β-cell lifespan in a rodent model of type 2 diabetes in comparison with nondiabetic controls. When rats were 10 mo old, mean β-cell lifespan was 1 mo vs. 6 mo in rats with type 2 diabetes vs. controls. A shortened β-cell lifespan in a rat model of type 2 diabetes results in a decrease in mean β-cell age and thus contributes to decreased β-cell mass.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 02/2011; 300(5):E933-8. · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The islet in type 2 diabetes is characterized by β-cell apoptosis, β-cell endoplasmic reticulum stress, and islet amyloid deposits derived from islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). Toxic oligomers of IAPP form intracellularly in β-cells in humans with type 2 diabetes, suggesting impaired clearance of misfolded proteins. In this study, we investigated whether human-IAPP (h-IAPP) disrupts the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation/ubiquitin/proteasome system. We used pancreatic tissue from humans with and without type 2 diabetes, isolated islets from h-IAPP transgenic rats, isolated human islets, and INS 832/13 cells transduced with adenoviruses expressing either h-IAPP or a comparable expression of rodent-IAPP. Immunofluorescence and Western blotting were used to detect polyubiquitinated proteins and ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) protein levels. Proteasome activity was measured in isolated rat and human islets. UCH-L1 was knocked down by small-interfering RNA in INS 832/13 cells and apoptosis was evaluated. We report accumulation of polyubiquinated proteins and UCH-L1 deficiency in β-cells of humans with type 2 diabetes. These findings were reproduced by expression of oligomeric h-IAPP but not soluble rat-IAPP. Downregulation of UCH-L1 expression and activity to reproduce that caused by h-IAPP in β-cells induced endoplasmic reticulum stress leading to apoptosis. Our results indicate that defective protein degradation in β-cells in type 2 diabetes can, at least in part, be attributed to misfolded h-IAPP leading to UCH-L1 deficiency, which in turn further compromises β-cell viability.
    Diabetes 10/2010; 60(1):227-38. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to establish the extent and basis for adaptive changes in beta cell numbers in human pregnancy. Pancreas was obtained at autopsy from women who had died while pregnant (n = 18), post-partum (n = 6) or were not pregnant at or shortly before death (controls; n = 20). Pancreases were evaluated for fractional pancreatic beta cell area, islet size and islet fraction of beta cells, beta cell replication (Ki67) and apoptosis (TUNEL), and indirect markers of beta cell neogenesis (insulin-positive cells in ducts and scattered beta cells in pancreas). The pancreatic fractional beta cell area was increased by approximately 1.4-fold in human pregnancy, with no change in mean beta cell size. In pregnancy there were more small islets rather than an increase in islet size or beta cells per islet. No increase in beta cell replication or change in beta cell apoptosis was detected, but duct cells positive for insulin and scattered beta cells were increased with pregnancy. The adaptive increase in beta cell numbers in human pregnancy is not as great as in most reports in rodents. This increase in humans is achieved by increased numbers of beta cells in apparently new small islets, rather than duplication of beta cells in existing islets, which is characteristic of pregnancy in rodents.
    Diabetologia 10/2010; 53(10):2167-76. · 6.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The islet in type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and the brain in neurodegenerative diseases share progressive cell dysfunction, increased apoptosis, and accumulation of locally expressed amyloidogenic proteins (islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) in T2DM). Excessive activation of the Ca2+-sensitive protease calpain-2 has been implicated as a mediator of oligomer-induced cell death and dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases. To establish if human IAPP toxicity is mediated by a comparable mechanism, we overexpressed human IAPP in rat insulinoma cells and freshly isolated human islets. Pancreas was also obtained at autopsy from humans with T2DM and nondiabetic controls. We report that overexpression of human IAPP leads to the formation of toxic oligomers and increases beta cell apoptosis mediated by increased cytosolic Ca2+ and hyperactivation of calpain-2. Cleavage of α-spectrin, a marker of calpain hyperactivation, is increased in beta cells in T2DM. We conclude that overactivation of Ca2+-calpain pathways contributes to beta cell dysfunction and apoptosis in T2DM.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2009; 285(1):339-348. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The islet in type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and the brain in neurodegenerative diseases share progressive cell dysfunction, increased apoptosis, and accumulation of locally expressed amyloidogenic proteins (islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) in T2DM). Excessive activation of the Ca(2+)-sensitive protease calpain-2 has been implicated as a mediator of oligomer-induced cell death and dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases. To establish if human IAPP toxicity is mediated by a comparable mechanism, we overexpressed human IAPP in rat insulinoma cells and freshly isolated human islets. Pancreas was also obtained at autopsy from humans with T2DM and nondiabetic controls. We report that overexpression of human IAPP leads to the formation of toxic oligomers and increases beta cell apoptosis mediated by increased cytosolic Ca(2+) and hyperactivation of calpain-2. Cleavage of alpha-spectrin, a marker of calpain hyperactivation, is increased in beta cells in T2DM. We conclude that overactivation of Ca(2+)-calpain pathways contributes to beta cell dysfunction and apoptosis in T2DM.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2009; 285(1):339-48. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a high-fat-fed rat model of type 2 diabetes we noted increased exocrine duct replication. This is a predisposing factor for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, both of which are more common in type 2 diabetes. The aim of the study reported here was to establish if obesity and/or type 2 diabetes are associated with increased pancreatic ductal replication in humans. We obtained pancreas at autopsy from 45 humans, divided into four groups: lean (BMI <25 kg/m(2)); obese (BMI >27 kg/m(2)); non-diabetic; and with type 2 diabetes. Pancreases were evaluated after immunostaining for the duct cell marker cytokeratin and Ki67 for replication. We show for the first time that both obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans are associated with increased pancreatic ductal replication. Specifically, we report that (1) replication of pancreatic duct cells is increased tenfold by obesity, and (2) lean subjects with type 2 diabetes demonstrate a fourfold increase in replication of pancreatic duct cells compared with their lean non-diabetic controls. Pancreatic duct cell replication is increased in humans in response to both obesity and type 2 diabetes, potentially providing a mechanism for the increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in those with obesity and/or type 2 diabetes.
    Diabetologia 10/2009; 53(1):21-6. · 6.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes is characterized by hyperglycemia, a deficit in beta-cells, increased beta-cell apoptosis, and islet amyloid derived from islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). These characteristics are recapitulated in the human IAPP transgenic (HIP) rat. We developed a mathematical model to quantify beta-cell turnover and applied it to nondiabetic wild type (WT) vs. HIP rats from age 2 days to 10 mo to establish 1) whether beta-cell formation is derived exclusively from beta-cell replication, or whether other sources of beta-cells (OSB) are present, and 2) to what extent, if any, there is attempted beta-cell regeneration in the HIP rat and if this is through beta-cell replication or OSB. We conclude that formation and maintenance of adult beta-cells depends largely ( approximately 80%) on formation of beta-cells independent from beta-cell duplication. Moreover, this source adaptively increases in the HIP rat, implying attempted beta-cell regeneration that substantially slows loss of beta-cell mass.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 06/2009; 297(2):E323-30. · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to establish the extent and mechanisms by which sitagliptin and metformin singly and in combination modify islet disease progression in human islet amyloid polypeptide transgenic (HIP) rats, a model for type 2 diabetes. HIP rats were treated with sitagliptin, metformin, sitagliptin plus metformin, or no drug as controls for 12 weeks. Fasting blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, and beta-cell mass, function, and turnover were measured in each group. Sitagliptin plus metformin had synergistic effects to preserve beta-cell mass in HIP rats. Metformin more than sitagliptin inhibited beta-cell apoptosis. Metformin enhanced hepatic insulin sensitivity; sitagliptin enhanced extrahepatic insulin sensitivity with a synergistic effect in combination. beta-Cell function was partially preserved by sitagliptin plus metformin. However, sitagliptin treatment was associated with increased pancreatic ductal turnover, ductal metaplasia, and, in one rat, pancreatitis. The combination of metformin and sitagliptin had synergistic actions to preserve beta-cell mass and function and enhance insulin sensitivity in the HIP rat model of type 2 diabetes. However, adverse actions of sitagliptin treatment on exocrine pancreas raise concerns that require further evaluation.
    Diabetes 05/2009; 58(7):1604-15. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, most obese individuals do not develop diabetes because they adapt to insulin resistance by increasing beta-cell mass and insulin secretion. Islet pathology in type 2 diabetes is characterized by beta-cell loss, islet amyloid derived from islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), and increased beta-cell apoptosis characterized by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. We hypothesized that IAPP-induced ER stress distinguishes successful versus unsuccessful islet adaptation to insulin resistance. To address this, we fed wild-type (WT) and human IAPP transgenic (HIP) rats either 10 weeks of regular chow or a high-fat diet and prospectively examined the relations among beta-cell mass and turnover, beta-cell ER stress, insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity. A high-fat diet led to comparable insulin resistance in WT and HIP rats. WT rats compensated with increased insulin secretion and beta-cell mass. In HIP rats, in contrast, neither beta-cell function nor mass compensated for the increased insulin demand, leading to diabetes. The failure to increase beta-cell mass in HIP rats was the result of ER stress-induced beta-cell apoptosis that increased in proportion to diet-induced insulin resistance. IAPP-induced ER stress distinguishes the successful versus unsuccessful islet adaptation to a high-fat diet in rats. These studies are consistent with the hypothesis that IAPP oligomers contribute to increased beta-cell apoptosis and beta-cell failure in humans with type 2 diabetes.
    Diabetes 02/2009; 58(4):906-16. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) is expressed in pancreatic beta cells and has recently been proposed as a target for measurement of beta cell mass in vivo. We questioned, (1) What proportion of beta cells express VMAT2? (2) Is VMAT2 expressed by other pancreatic endocrine or non-endocrine cells? (3) Is the relationship between VMAT2 and insulin expression disturbed in type 1 (T1DM) or type 2 diabetes (T2DM)? Human pancreas (7 non-diabetics, 5 T2DM, 10 T1DM) was immunostained for insulin, VMAT2 and other pancreatic hormones. Most beta cells expressed VMAT2. VMAT2 expression was not changed by the presence of diabetes. In tail of pancreas VMAT2 immunostaining closely correlated with insulin staining. However, VMAT2 was also expressed in some pancreatic polypeptide (PP) cells. Although VMAT2 was not excluded as a target for beta cell mass measurement, expression of VMAT2 in PP cells predicts residual VMAT2 expression in human pancreas even in the absence of beta cells.
    Journal of Molecular Histology 10/2008; 39(5):543-51. · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the capacity, mechanisms, or timing of growth in beta-cell mass in humans. We sought to establish if the predominant expansion of beta-cell mass in humans occurs in early childhood and if, as in rodents, this coincides with relatively abundant beta-cell replication. We also sought to establish if there is a secondary growth in beta-cell mass coincident with the accelerated somatic growth in adolescence. To address these questions, pancreas volume was determined from abdominal computer tomographies in 135 children aged 4 weeks to 20 years, and morphometric analyses were performed in human pancreatic tissue obtained at autopsy from 46 children aged 2 weeks to 21 years. We report that 1) beta-cell mass expands by severalfold from birth to adulthood, 2) islets grow in size rather than in number during this transition, 3) the relative rate of beta-cell growth is highest in infancy and gradually declines thereafter to adulthood with no secondary accelerated growth phase during adolescence, 4) beta-cell mass (and presumably growth) is highly variable between individuals, and 5) a high rate of beta-cell replication is coincident with the major postnatal expansion of beta-cell mass. These data imply that regulation of beta-cell replication during infancy plays a major role in beta-cell mass in adult humans.
    Diabetes 07/2008; 57(6):1584-94. · 7.90 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
256.30 Total Impact Points

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Institutions

  • 2004–2013
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
      • • Division of Endocrinology
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • University of Canterbury
      • • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      • • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
      Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
    • Canterbury Christ Church University
      Cantorbery, England, United Kingdom
  • 2003–2010
    • University of Southern California
      • • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      • • Division of Endocrinology
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 1994
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States