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Pancreatic beta-cell metabolism was followed during glucose and pyruvate stimulation of pancreatic islets using quantitative two-photon NAD(P)H imaging. The observed redox changes, spatially separated between the cytoplasm and mitochondria, were compared with whole islet insulin secretion. As expected, both NAD(P)H and insulin secretion showed sustained increases in response to glucose stimulation. In contrast, pyruvate caused a much lower NAD(P)H response and did not generate insulin secretion. Low pyruvate concentrations decreased cytoplasmic NAD(P)H without affecting mitochondrial NAD(P)H, whereas higher concentrations increased cytoplasmic and mitochondrial levels. However, the pyruvate-stimulated mitochondrial increase was transient and equilibrated to near-base-line levels. Inhibitors of the mitochondrial pyruvate-transporter and malate-aspartate shuttle were utilized to resolve the glucose- and pyruvate-stimulated NAD(P)H response mechanisms. These data showed that glucose-stimulated mitochondrial NAD(P)H and insulin secretion are independent of pyruvate transport but dependent on NAD(P)H shuttling. In contrast, the pyruvate-stimulated cytoplasmic NAD(P)H response was enhanced by both inhibitors. Surprisingly the malate-aspartate shuttle inhibitor enabled pyruvate-stimulated insulin secretion. These data support a model in which glycolysis plays a dominant role in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Based on these data, we propose a mechanism for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion that includes allosteric inhibition of tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes and pH dependence of mitochondrial pyruvate transport.
The effects of norepinephrine and glucagon on gluconeogenesis were studied in hemoglobin-free perfused liver from rats kept for 1-20 days at 4 degrees C. When rats were starved for 24 h at 4 degrees C, the plasma glucose level of rats exposed to cold for 5, 10, and 20 days was significantly higher than that of rats for 1 day, but hepatic glycogen decreased to the same level in all groups. In the isolated perfused liver, basal rates of oxygen consumption and glucose production increased slightly through 5 days of cold exposure and returned to control levels after 20 days of cold exposure. The rates of glucose production from lactate, pyruvate, sorbitol, and glycerol increased by 20-30% after 5 days of cold exposure. The stimulation of gluconeogenesis from these substrates by norepinephrine and phenylephrine increased markedly at all time periods from 1 to 20 days in the cold, with a maximum at 5 days. The stimulation of glycogenolysis by norepinephrine was not affected by cold exposure. The response to catecholamines decreased markedly in liver perfused with calcium-free medium and/or with phentolamine. The stimulation of gluconeogenesis by glucagon increased only in rats exposed to cold for 20 days. The results obtained suggest that the stimulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis by cold is due to an alpha-adrenergic response, and the activation occurs beyond the interaction of norepinephrine with its receptor.
The effects of isoproterenol on the release of alanine during perfusion with pyruvate and valine were studied in perfused hindlimbs from rats that had been kept for 5 or 20 days at 4 degrees C. In hindlimbs perfused with Krebs bicarbonate buffer in a flow-through mode, the rate of release of alanine during perfusion with 2 mM pyruvate plus 5 mM valine was 250 nmol.min-1.leg-1, a rate that is comparable with that reported in hindlimbs perfused with complex medium. Neither the pyruvate-stimulated nor valine plus pyruvate-stimulated rates of release of alanine changed after 20 days of exposure to cold. Isoproterenol inhibited the release of alanine during perfusion with pyruvate, with valine, and with valine plus pyruvate in hindlimbs from a control group of rats. However, in hindlimbs from cold-exposed groups, isoproterenol failed to inhibit the release of alanine during perfusion with valine plus pyruvate and stimulated the release of alanine during perfusion with valine. Aminooxyacetate inhibited the effects of valine, pyruvate, and isoproterenol. The results obtained suggested that cold exposure decreases the responses to isoproterenol of the mechanism of alanine release and causes an increased supply of alanine to the liver.
The effects of calmodulin antagonists on the capacity of hydrogen-translocating shuttles were studied in the perfused rat liver. The capacity was estimated by measuring the changes in the rate of production of glucose from sorbitol during the oxidation of ethanol [T. Sugano, T. Ohta, A. Tarui, and Y. Miyamae. Am. J. Physiol. 251 (Endocrinol. Metab. 14): E385-E392, 1986]. Thyroxine given to intact rats increased the activity of alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (alpha-GPD). Glucocorticoid replacement in adrenalectomized rats decreased the activity of the alpha-GPD to values obtained after treatment with PTU. In either thyroxine-treated or steroid-replaced rats, the capacity of hydrogen-translocating shuttles increased markedly. However, N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide (W-7), trifluoperazine, and chlorpromazine inhibited the increased capacity in steroid-replaced rats and had no effect on the increased capacity in thyroxine-treated rats. W-7 inhibited the stimulatory effects of norepinephrine on the capacity of the malate-aspartate shuttle without inhibition of efflux of intracellular Ca2+. The stimulatory effects of vasopressin on the malate-aspartate shuttle were also inhibited by W-7, trifluoperazine, and chlorpromazine. The results suggest that the malate-aspartate shuttle may be regulated by Ca(2+)-calmodulin.