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J Biol Chem. 2011 Nov 11;286(45):39537-45. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.295931. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

Contribution of different mechanisms to pancreatic beta-cell hyper-secretion in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice during pre-diabetes.

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Department of General Surgery, XuanWu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100053, PR China.


The development of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) results from the selective destruction of pancreatic beta-cells. Both humans and spontaneous models of IDDM, such as NOD mice, have an extended pre-diabetic stage. Dynamic changes in beta-cell mass and function during pre-diabetes, such as insulin hyper-secretion, remain largely unknown. In this paper, we evaluated pre-diabetic female NOD mice at different ages (6, 10, and 14 weeks old) to illustrate alterations in beta-cell mass and function as disease progressed. We found an increase in beta-cell mass in 6-week-old NOD mice that may account for improved glucose tolerance in these mice. As NOD mice aged, beta-cell mass progressively reduced with increasing insulitis. In parallel, secretory ability of individual beta-cells was enhanced due to an increase in the size of slowly releasable pool (SRP) of vesicles. Moreover, expression of both SERCA2 and SERCA3 genes were progressively down-regulated, which facilitated depolarization-evoked secretion by prolonging Ca(2+) elevation upon glucose stimulation. In summary, we propose that different mechanisms contribute to the insulin hyper-secretion at different ages of pre-diabetic NOD mice, which may provide some new ideas concerning the progression and management of type I diabetes.

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