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J Clin Invest. 1997 Sep 1;100(5):1174-9.

Leptin constrains acetylcholine-induced insulin secretion from pancreatic islets of ob/ob mice.

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1224, USA.


Hypersecretion of insulin from the pancreas is among the earliest detectable metabolic alterations in some genetically obese animals including the ob/ob mouse and in some obesity-prone humans. Since the primary cause of obesity in the ob/ob mouse is a lack of leptin due to a mutation in the ob gene, we tested the hypothesis that leptin targets a regulatory pathway in pancreatic islets to prevent hypersecretion of insulin. Insulin secretion is regulated by changes in blood glucose, as well as by peptides from the gastrointestinal tract and neurotransmitters that activate the pancreatic islet adenylyl cyclase (e.g., glucagon-like peptide-1) and phospholipase C (PLC) (e.g., acetylcholine) signaling pathways to further potentiate glucose-induced insulin secretion. Effects of leptin on each of these regulatory pathways were thus examined. Leptin did not influence glucose or glucagon-like peptide-1-induced insulin secretion from islets of either ob/ob or lean mice, consistent with earlier findings that these regulatory pathways do not contribute to the early-onset hypersecretion of insulin from islets of ob/ob mice. However, leptin did constrain the enhanced PLC- mediated insulin secretion characteristic of islets from ob/ob mice, without influencing release from islets of lean mice. A specific enhancement in PLC-mediated insulin secretion is the earliest reported developmental alteration in insulin secretion from islets of ob/ob mice, and thus a logical target for leptin action. This action of leptin on PLC-mediated insulin secretion was dose-dependent, rapid-onset (i.e., within 3 min), and reversible. Leptin was equally effective in constraining the enhanced insulin release from islets of ob/ob mice caused by protein kinase C (PKC) activation, a downstream mediator of the PLC signal pathway. One function of leptin in control of body composition is thus to target a PKC-regulated component of the PLC-PKC signaling system within islets to prevent hypersecretion of insulin.

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