Cover Story Current Issue

White adipose tissue (WAT) is a complex organ that plays a central role in systemic energy balance through its interrelated metabolic, endocrine, and immune functions. Adipocytes, the parenchymal cells of adipose tissue, have diverse functions that include storage and mobilization of lipids. They also release endocrine signals that report energy status to the brain, regulating metabolic functions in peripheral organs. Importantly, the metabolic character of white adipocytes is flexible, with cells capable of assuming distinct anabolic and catabolic/thermogenic phenotypes, often within the same adipose tissue depot

Elizabeth A. Rondini, Vanesa D. Ramseyer, Rayanne B. Burl, Roger Pique-Regi, James G. Granneman

Full text

 

Current Issue

Gsα-dependent signaling is required for postnatal establishment of a functional β-cell mass

Berta Serra-Navarro, Rebeca Fernandez-Ruiz, Ainhoa García-Alamán, Marta Pradas-Juni, ... Rosa Gasa

Objective

Early postnatal life is a critical period for the establishment of the functional β-cell mass that will sustain whole-body glucose homeostasis during the lifetime. β cells are formed from progenitors during embryonic development but undergo significant expansion in quantity and attain functional maturity after birth. The signals and pathways involved in these processes are not fully elucidated. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is an intracellular signaling molecule that is known to regulate insulin secretion, gene expression, proliferation, and survival of adult β cells. The heterotrimeric G protein Gs stimulates the cAMP-dependent pathway by activating adenylyl cyclase. In this study, we sought to explore the role of Gs-dependent signaling in postnatal β-cell development.

Methods

To study Gs-dependent signaling, we generated conditional knockout mice in which the α subunit of the Gs protein (Gsα) was ablated from β-cells using the Cre deleter line Ins1Cre. Mice were characterized in terms of glucose homeostasis, including in vivo glucose tolerance, glucose-induced insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity. β-cell mass was studied using histomorphometric analysis and optical projection tomography. β-cell proliferation was studied by ki67 and phospho-histone H3 immunostatining, and apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL assay. Gene expression was determined in isolated islets and sorted β cells by qPCR. Intracellular cAMP was studied in isolated islets using HTRF-based technology. The activation status of the cAMP and insulin-signaling pathways was determined by immunoblot analysis of the relevant components of these pathways in isolated islets. In vitro proliferation of dissociated islet cells was assessed by BrdU incorporation.

Results

Elimination of Gsα in β cells led to reduced β-cell mass, deficient insulin secretion, and severe glucose intolerance. These defects were evident by weaning and were associated with decreased proliferation and inadequate expression of key β-cell identity and maturation genes in postnatal β-cells. Additionally, loss of Gsα caused a broad multilevel disruption of the insulin transduction pathway that resulted in the specific abrogation of the islet proliferative response to insulin.

Conclusion

We conclude that Gsα is required for β-cell growth and maturation in the early postnatal stage and propose that this is partly mediated via its crosstalk with insulin signaling. Our findings disclose a tight connection between these two pathways in postnatal β cells, which may have implications for using cAMP-raising agents to promote β-cell regeneration and maturation in diabetes.

Gsα-dependent signaling is required for postnatal establishment of a functional β-cell mass

Berta Serra-Navarro, Rebeca Fernandez-Ruiz, Ainhoa García-Alamán, Marta Pradas-Juni, ... Rosa Gasa

Objective

Early postnatal life is a critical period for the establishment of the functional β-cell mass that will sustain whole-body glucose homeostasis during the lifetime. β cells are formed from progenitors during embryonic development but undergo significant expansion in quantity and attain functional maturity after birth. The signals and pathways involved in these processes are not fully elucidated. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is an intracellular signaling molecule that is known to regulate insulin secretion, gene expression, proliferation, and survival of adult β cells. The heterotrimeric G protein Gs stimulates the cAMP-dependent pathway by activating adenylyl cyclase. In this study, we sought to explore the role of Gs-dependent signaling in postnatal β-cell development.

Methods

To study Gs-dependent signaling, we generated conditional knockout mice in which the α subunit of the Gs protein (Gsα) was ablated from β-cells using the Cre deleter line Ins1Cre. Mice were characterized in terms of glucose homeostasis, including in vivo glucose tolerance, glucose-induced insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity. β-cell mass was studied using histomorphometric analysis and optical projection tomography. β-cell proliferation was studied by ki67 and phospho-histone H3 immunostatining, and apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL assay. Gene expression was determined in isolated islets and sorted β cells by qPCR. Intracellular cAMP was studied in isolated islets using HTRF-based technology. The activation status of the cAMP and insulin-signaling pathways was determined by immunoblot analysis of the relevant components of these pathways in isolated islets. In vitro proliferation of dissociated islet cells was assessed by BrdU incorporation.

Results

Elimination of Gsα in β cells led to reduced β-cell mass, deficient insulin secretion, and severe glucose intolerance. These defects were evident by weaning and were associated with decreased proliferation and inadequate expression of key β-cell identity and maturation genes in postnatal β-cells. Additionally, loss of Gsα caused a broad multilevel disruption of the insulin transduction pathway that resulted in the specific abrogation of the islet proliferative response to insulin.

Conclusion

We conclude that Gsα is required for β-cell growth and maturation in the early postnatal stage and propose that this is partly mediated via its crosstalk with insulin signaling. Our findings disclose a tight connection between these two pathways in postnatal β cells, which may have implications for using cAMP-raising agents to promote β-cell regeneration and maturation in diabetes.

2020 impact factor: 7.4

The 60 Second Metabolist

In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

Watch the most recent interviews by clicking the video still. 

Here is a video of Vimeo. When the iframes is activated, a connection to Vimeo is established and, if necessary, cookies from Vimeo are also used. For further information on cookies policy click here.

Here is a video of Vimeo. When the iframes is activated, a connection to Vimeo is established and, if necessary, cookies from Vimeo are also used. For further information on cookies policy click here.