Ken Kato

Osaka City University, Ōsaka, Ōsaka, Japan

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Publications (16)72.49 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Progressive β-cell dysfunction and loss of β-cell mass are fundamental pathogenic features of type 2 diabetes. To examine if anti-diabetic reagents, such as insulin, pioglitazone (pio), and alogliptin (alo), have protective effects on β-cell mass and function in vivo, we treated obese diabetic db/db mice with these reagents. Male db/db mice were treated with a chow including pio, alo, or both of them from 8 to 16 weeks of age. Insulin glargine (gla) was daily injected subcutaneously during the same period. At 16 weeks of age, untreated db/db mice revealed marked increase of HbA1c level, whereas those treated with pio, pio+alo, or insulin revealed the almost same HbA1c levels as non-diabetic db/m mice. Islet mass evaluated by direct counting in the whole pancreas and insulin content in isolated islets were preserved in pio, pio+alo and gla groups compared with untreated or alo groups, and there was no difference among pio, pio+alo and gla groups. To precisely evaluate islet β-cell functions, islet perifusion analysis was performed. In pio, pio+alo and gla groups, biphasic insulin secretion was preserved compared with untreated or alo groups. In particular, pio+alo as well as gla therapy preserved almost normal insulin secretion, although pio therapy improved partially. To examine the mechanism how these reagents exerted beneficial effects on β-cells, we evaluated expression levels of various factors which are potentially important for β-cell functions by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The results showed that expression levels of MafA and GLP-1 receptor were markedly decreased in untreated and alo groups, but not in pio, pio+alo and gla groups. Combination therapy with pio and alo almost completely normalized β-cell functions in vivo, which was comparable with gla treatment.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2011; 404(1):534-40. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Islet beta-cells loose their ability to synthesize insulin under diabetic conditions, which is at least partially due to the decreased activity of insulin transcription factors such as MafA. Although an in vitro study showed that reactive oxygen species (ROS) decrease MafA expression, the underlying mechanism still remains unclear. In this study, we examined the effects of c-Jun, which is known to be upregulated by ROS, on the expression of MafA under diabetic conditions. To examine the protein levels of MafA and c-Jun, we performed histological analysis and Western blotting using diabetic db/db mice. In addition, to evaluate the possible effects of c-Jun on MafA expression, we performed adenoviral overexpression of c-Jun in the MIN6 beta-cell line and freshly isolated islets. RESULTS MafA expression was markedly decreased in the islets of db/db mice, while in contrast c-Jun expression was increased. Costaining of these factors in the islets of db/db mice clearly showed that MafA and insulin levels are decreased in c-Jun-positive cells. Consistent with these results, overexpression of c-Jun significantly decreased MafA expression, accompanied by suppression of insulin expression. Importantly, MafA overexpression restored the insulin promoter activity and protein levels that were suppressed by c-Jun. These results indicate that the decreased insulin biosynthesis induced by c-Jun is principally mediated by the suppression of MafA activity. It is likely that the augmented expression of c-Jun in diabetic islets decreases MafA expression and thereby reduces insulin biosynthesis, which is often observed in type 2 diabetes.
    Diabetes 07/2010; 59(7):1709-20. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic beta-cell-specific insulin gene expression is regulated by a variety of pancreatic transcription factors and the conserved A3, C1 and E1 elements in the insulin gene enhancer region are very important for activation of insulin gene. Indeed, PDX-1 binding to the A3 element and NeuroD binding to the E1 element are crucial for insulin gene transcription. Recently, C1 element-binding transcription factor was identified as MafA, which is a basic-leucine zipper transcription factor and functions as a potent transactivator for the insulin gene. Under diabetic conditions, chronic hyperglycemia gradually deteriorates pancreatic beta-cell function, which is accompanied by decreased expression and/or DNA binding activities of MafA and PDX-1. Furthermore, MafA overexpression, together with PDX-1 and NeuroD, markedly induces insulin biosynthesis in various non-beta-cells and thereby is a useful tool to efficiently induce insulin-producing surrogate beta-cells. These results suggest that MafA plays a crucial role in pancreatic beta-cells and could be a novel therapeutic target for diabetes.
    Advanced drug delivery reviews 05/2009; 61(7-8):489-96. · 11.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To identify the location of pancreatic endocrine tumors, arterial stimulation and venous sampling (ASVS) is known to be useful for insulinoma and gastrinoma, but its usefulness for glucagonoma has not been verified to date. Here we report a case of glucagonoma that was diagnosed by ASVS with calcium loading, in which an approximately 6-fold increase of glucagon was observed in the splenic artery territory. MEN1 gene analysis verified the presence of a mutation and the glucagonoma was confirmed after operation. In conclusion, ASVS could be useful for the diagnosis of glucagonoma.
    Internal Medicine 02/2009; 48(12):1025-30. · 0.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: New-onset diabetes after renal transplantation (NODAT) is known to be a potent risk factor for cardiovascular events. We therefore investigated the incidence and risk factors for NODAT, and evaluated surrogate endpoints of atherosclerosis in Japanese patients with stable renal function after renal transplantation. Seventy-nine patients were enrolled in the study, and a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed in subjects excluding patients with known NODAT. We evaluated the risk factors for NODAT and the degree of atherosclerosis, determined by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), ankle-brachial blood pressure index (ABPI) and intima-media thickness (IMT) of the carotid artery. Eleven patients diagnosed as NODAT had significantly higher fasting plasma glucose before transplantation, blood pressure, and incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection than patients without NODAT. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that the independent determinant of NODAT was fasting plasma glucose pre-transplantation, HCV infection and systolic blood pressure. The baPWV in patients with NODAT was significantly higher compared to that in patients without NODAT. In addition, the independent determinant of baPWV evaluated by multivariate regression analysis was an increase in systolic blood pressure and age, and a decrease of adiponectin levels. In conclusion, we found that high fasting plasma glucose prior to transplantation, HCV infection and high blood pressure are risk factors for NODAT in Japanese patients after renal transplantation. Since NODAT patients have advanced arterial stiffness probably due to high blood pressure, strict control of blood pressure will be important for preventing the development of cardiovascular disease in NODAT.
    Endocrine Journal 07/2008; 55(4):677-83. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor-1 (PDX-1) plays a crucial role in pancreas development, beta-cell differentiation, and maintenance of mature beta-cell function. PDX-1 expression is maintained in pancreatic precursor cells during pancreas development but becomes restricted to beta-cells in mature pancreas. In mature beta-cells, PDX-1 transactivates the insulin and other genes involved in glucose sensing and metabolism such as GLUT2 and glucokinase. MafA is a recently isolated beta-cell-specific transcription factor which functions as a potent activator of insulin gene transcription. Furthermore, these transcription factors play an important role in induction of insulin-producing cells in various non-beta-cells and thus could be therapeutic targets for diabetes. On the other hand, under diabetic conditions, expression and/or activities of PDX-1 and MafA in beta-cells are reduced, which leads to suppression of insulin biosynthesis and secretion. It is likely that alteration of such transcription factors explains, at least in part, the molecular mechanism for beta-cell glucose toxicity found in diabetes.
    Endocrine Journal 06/2008; 55(2):235-52. · 2.23 Impact Factor
  • Endocrine Journal - ENDOCR J. 01/2008; 55(2):235-252.
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    ABSTRACT: It is well known that activating protein-1 (AP-1) is involved in a variety of cellular functions such as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and oncogenesis. AP-1 is a dimer complex consisting of different subunits, and c-Jun is known to be one of its major components. In addition, it has been shown that mice lacking c-Jun are embryonic lethal and that c-Jun is essential for liver and heart development. However, the role of c-Jun in the pancreas is not well known. The aim of this study was to examine the possible role of c-Jun in the pancreas. First, c-Jun was strongly expressed in pancreatic duct-like structures at an embryonic stage, while a lower level of expression was observed in some part of the adult pancreas, implying that c-Jun might play a role during pancreas development. Second, to address this point, we generated pancreas-specific c-Jun knock-out mice (Ptf1a-Cre; c-Jun(flox/flox) mice) by crossing Ptf1a-Cre knock-in mice with c-Jun floxed mice. Ptf1a is a pancreatic transcription factor and its expression is confined to pancreatic stem/progenitor cells, which give rise to all three types of pancreatic tissue: endocrine, exocrine, and duct. Contrary to our expectation, however, there was no morphological difference in the pancreas between Ptf1a-Cre; c-Jun(flox/flox) and control mice. In addition, there was no difference in body weight, pancreas weight, and the expression of various pancreas-related factors (insulin, glucagon, cytokeratin, and amylase) between the two groups. Furthermore, there was no difference in glucose tolerance between Ptf1a-Cre; c-Jun(flox/flox) and control mice. Taken together, although we cannot exclude the possibility that c-Jun ablation is compensated by some unknown factors, c-Jun appears to be dispensable for pancreas development at least after ptf1a gene promoter is activated.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2007; 363(4):908-14. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is well known that pancreatic and duodenal homeobox gene-1 (PDX-1) plays a crucial role in beta-cell differentiation, and maintaining mature beta-cell function. Thus, it is important to understand how pdx-1 gene is regulated under various pathophysiological conditions in vivo. In this study, to non-invasively and quantitatively monitor pdx-1 promoter activity in vivo, we constructed a pdx-1 promoter-SEAP-IRES-GFP reporter plasmid. In this construct, the -4.6kb pdx-1 promoter region sufficient for driving beta-cell-selective PDX-1 expression was inserted to the upstream of the secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) reporter gene. It is noted here that the pdx-1 promoter-mediated SEAP activity can be distinguished from endogenous alkaline phosphatase activity. First, we transfected the construct in mouse beta-cell line MIN6 and human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2. SEAP activity was readily detected in the media of MIN6 cells, but not in HepG2 cells. These results indicate that this construct specifically reports beta-cell-specific pdx-1 promoter activity in a cell culture system. Based on these in vitro findings, we next generated transgenic mice using the same construct. SEAP activity was readily detected in serum of the transgenic mice, but not in their littermate mice. Furthermore, SEAP activity was detected in protein extract from the transgenic pancreas and slightly from the transgenic duodenum, but not from the liver, and brain. These results indicate that serum SEAP activity likely represents in vivo pdx-1 promoter activity. This transgenic mouse model would be useful to non-invasively monitor in vivo pdx-1 promoter activity and to screen new molecules which regulate PDX-1 expression.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2007; 361(3):739-44. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor-1 (PDX-1) plays a crucial role in pancreas development, β-cell differentiation, and maintaining mature β-cell function. At an early stage of embryonic development, PDX-1 is initially expressed in the gut region when the foregut endoderm becomes committed to common pancreatic precursor cells. During pancreas development, PDX-1 expression is maintained in precursor cells, and later it becomes restricted to β-cells. In mature β-cells, PDX-1 transactivates the insulin gene and other genes involved in glucose sensing and metabolism, such as GLUT2 and glucokinase. MafA is a recently isolated β-cell-specific transcription factor which functions as a potent activator of insulin gene transcription. During pancreas development, MafA expression is first detected at the beginning of the principal phase of insulinproducing cell production. Furthermore, these transcription factors play a crucial role in inducing surrogate β-cells from non-β- cells and thus could be therapeutic targets for diabetes.
    Current Medicinal Chemistry 06/2007; 14(16):1745-1752. · 3.72 Impact Factor
  • Diabetes Care 02/2007; 30(1):159-61. · 7.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor-1 (PDX-1) plays a crucial role in pancreas development, beta-cell differentiation, and maintaining mature beta-cell function. At an early stage of embryonic development, PDX-1 is initially expressed in the gut region when the foregut endoderm becomes committed to common pancreatic precursor cells. During pancreas development, PDX-1 expression is maintained in precursor cells, and later it becomes restricted to beta-cells. In mature beta-cells, PDX-1 transactivates the insulin gene and other genes involved in glucose sensing and metabolism, such as GLUT2 and glucokinase. MafA is a recently isolated beta-cell-specific transcription factor which functions as a potent activator of insulin gene transcription. During pancreas development, MafA expression is first detected at the beginning of the principal phase of insulin-producing cell production. Furthermore, these transcription factors play a crucial role in inducing surrogate beta-cells from non-beta-cells and thus could be therapeutic targets for diabetes.
    Current Medicinal Chemistry 02/2007; 14(16):1745-52. · 3.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transcription factor pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor 1 (PDX-1) is expressed in pancreatic progenitor cells. In exocrine pancreas, PDX-1 is down-regulated during late development, while re-up-regulation of PDX-1 has been reported in pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. To determine whether sustained expression of PDX-1 could affect pancreas development, PDX-1 was constitutively expressed in all pancreatic lineages by transgenic approaches. The transgenic pancreas was markedly small with the replacement of acinar cells by duct-like structures, accompanied by activated Stat3. Genetic ablation of Stat3 in the transgenic pancreas profoundly suppressed the metaplastic phenotype. These results provide a mechanism of pancreatic metaplasia by which persistent PDX-1 expression cell-autonomously induces acinar-to-ductal transition through Stat3 activation.
    Genes & Development 07/2006; 20(11):1435-40. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nateglinide, a rapid insulin secretagogue, is known to facilitate the early phase of insulin secretion and has been used for the treatment of type 2 diabetic patients with postprandial hyperglycemia. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of nateglinide on insulin resistance as well as insulin secretory defects in type 2 diabetic patients. Insulin secretion ability was evaluated by the hyperglycemic clamp test, and insulin sensitivity was evaluated by the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp test, using an artificial pancreas. The hyperglycemic clamp test showed that a 7-day treatment with nateglinide significantly increased insulin secretion in response to high glucose. Interestingly, although nateglinide is known to facilitate insulin secretion, daily urinary C-peptide excretion was decreased after nateglinide treatment. Moreover, in the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp test, glucose infusion rate was significantly increased by nateglinide treatment, indicating that nateglinide functions to decrease insulin resistance. Nateglinide ameliorates insulin resistance as well as insulin secretory defects in type 2 diabetic patients.
    Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 04/2006; 71(3):251-5. · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    Diabetes Care 12/2005; 28(11):2806-7. · 7.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetic microangiopathy is often observed in diabetic patients, but there is little evidence regarding the relationship between post-prandial glycemia or insulinemia and the incidence of diabetic microangiopathy. In this study, to elucidate the relationship between post-prandial glycemia (or insulinemia) and diabetic microangiopathy, we performed a cross-sectional study of 232 subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were not being treated with insulin injections. A multiple regression analysis showed that post-prandial hyperglycemia independently correlated with the incidence of diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy. Post-prandial hyperglycemia also correlated, although not independently, with the incidence of diabetic nephropathy. In addition, interestingly, post-prandial hypoinsulinemia independently correlated with the incidence of diabetic retinopathy, although not correlated with diabetic neuropathy or nephropathy. In conclusion, post-prandial hyperglycemia, rather than fasting glycemia or hemoglobin A1c levels, is an important predictor of the incidence of diabetic microangiopathy in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 11/2005; 336(1):339-45. · 2.28 Impact Factor