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Mol Endocrinol. 2012 Jun;26(6):967-76. doi: 10.1210/me.2011-1306. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Enhanced GLP-1- and sulfonylurea-induced insulin secretion in islets lacking leptin signaling.

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  • 1Islet Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Joslin Diabetes Center and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


We have previously reported that the absence of leptin signaling in β-cells enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and improves glucose tolerance in vivo. To investigate the relevance of β-cell leptin signaling in the context of postprandial or therapeutic insulin secretion, we examined the cross talk between leptin and glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and sulfonylurea actions. Single and size-matched islets isolated from control or pancreas-specific leptin receptor knockout (pancreas-ObR-KO) mice were treated either with GLP-1 or with glibenclamide. Leptin suppressed GLP-1-stimulated intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations ([Ca(2+)](i)) increase that paralleled the decrease in insulin secretion in controls. In contrast, and as expected, the ObR-KO islets were nonresponsive to leptin, and instead, showed a 2.8-fold greater GLP-1-stimulated [Ca(2+)](i) increase and a 1.7-fold greater insulin secretion. Phosphorylation of cAMP-responsive element binding protein was enhanced, and phosphodiesterase enzymatic activity was suppressed in MIN6 β-cells with ObR knockdown compared with controls. The ObR-KO islets also showed significantly higher glibenclamide-induced insulin secretion compared with control islets, whereas [Ca(2+)](i) was similar to the controls. These data support enhanced insulinotropic effects of glucose, GLP-1, and sulfonylureas in the islets lacking leptin signaling with potential therapeutic implications.

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