Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Commun. 2015 Sep 2;6:8084. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9084.

Postnatal β-cell maturation is associated with islet-specific microRNA changes induced by nutrient shifts at weaning.

Author information

Department of Fundamental Neurosciences, University of Lausanne, Lausanne 1005, Switzerland.
Department of Internal Medicine, Center for Pharmacogenomics, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Glucose-induced insulin secretion is an essential function of pancreatic β-cells that is partially lost in individuals affected by Type 2 diabetes. This unique property of β-cells is acquired through a poorly understood postnatal maturation process involving major modifications in gene expression programs. Here we show that β-cell maturation is associated with changes in microRNA expression induced by the nutritional transition that occurs at weaning. When mimicked in newborn islet cells, modifications in the level of specific microRNAs result in a switch in the expression of metabolic enzymes and cause the acquisition of glucose-induced insulin release. Our data suggest microRNAs have a central role in postnatal β-cell maturation and in the determination of adult functional β-cell mass. A better understanding of the events governing β-cell maturation may help understand why some individuals are predisposed to developing diabetes and could lead to new strategies for the treatment of this common metabolic disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center