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Pyruvate oxidation is critical determinant of pancreatic islet number and β-cell mass
Date:8/5/2014

Researchers at the University at Buffalo, led by Dr. Mulchand Patel and also at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western Ontario, London, Canada, led by Dr. David Hill, collaboratively evaluated the role of the mitochondrial multienzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in the regulation of pancreatic β-cell development and maturation in the immediate postnatal period in mice. This study, reported in the August 2014 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, demonstrated that the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex is not only required for insulin gene expression and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but also directly influences β-cell growth and maturity. This places glucose metabolism as a direct regulator of β-cell mass and plasticity.

Glucose metabolism within the pancreatic β-cells is crucial for insulin gene expression and hormone exocytosis, but there is increasing evidence that glucose metabolic pathways are also important for β-cell development and the maintenance of β-cell mass in adult life. A targeted deletion of glucokinase in mouse β-cells not only prevents glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but also β-cell proliferation and is associated with increased apoptosis. A direct manipulation of glucose availability to the embryonic pancreas in tissue culture showed that it was necessary for both α- and β-cell development through the regulation of the transcription factors Neurogenin 3 (Neurog3) and NeuroD.

In the article by Patel et al., the authors show that a targeted β-cell deletion of the α subunit of the pyruvate dehydrogenase component, a major rate-limiting enzyme for the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex that regulates pyruvate metabolism from glucose in the mitochondria, in mouse resulted in reduced insulin availability and glucose-sensitive release as would be expected. But they also demonstrate that β-cell number was reduced postnatally as was the expression of
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Contact: M.S. Patel
mspatel@buffalo.edu
Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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