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Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2008 Sep;116 Suppl 1:S46-9. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1081486. Epub 2008 Sep 5.

Reduced insulin secretion and content in VEGF-a deficient mouse pancreatic islets.

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Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany.


Mice, deficient for vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF-A in pancreatic islets, have reduced insulin gene expression levels and an impaired glucose tolerance. Here, we investigated whether VEGF-A was required for physiological glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and insulin content. We performed in situ pancreas perfusions and islet perifusions on mice lacking VEGF-A in the pancreatic epithelium in order to study their ability to secrete insulin in response to glucose. We identified insulin secretion defects in the pancreata of VEGF-A deficient mice, including a delayed and blunted response to glucose. Islet perifusion experiments revealed a missing first phase and weaker second phase of insulin secretion, in two of three VEGF-A deficient mice. On average, insulin content in VEGF-A deficient islets was significantly reduced when compared with control islets. We conclude that VEGF-A is required in pancreatic islets for normal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and physiological insulin content. Thus, VEGF-A is a key factor for pancreatic islet function.

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