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Mol Cell Biol. 2008 May;28(9):2971-9. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01695-07. Epub 2008 Mar 3.

Biphasic response of pancreatic beta-cell mass to ablation of tuberous sclerosis complex 2 in mice.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Metabolism, and Endocrinology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-1 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of insulin or insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) for regulation of pancreatic beta-cell mass. Given the role of tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2) as an upstream molecule of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), we examined the effect of TSC2 deficiency on beta-cell function. Here, we show that mice deficient in TSC2, specifically in pancreatic beta cells (betaTSC2(-/-) mice), manifest increased IGF-1-dependent phosphorylation of p70 S6 kinase and 4E-BP1 in islets as well as an initial increased islet mass attributable in large part to increases in the sizes of individual beta cells. These mice also exhibit hypoglycemia and hyperinsulinemia at young ages (4 to 28 weeks). After 40 weeks of age, however, the betaTSC2(-/-) mice develop progressive hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia accompanied by a reduction in islet mass due predominantly to a decrease in the number of beta cells. These results thus indicate that TSC2 regulates pancreatic beta-cell mass in a biphasic manner.

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