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Stimulation of digestive organs by enteric peptides is lost during total parental nutrition (PN). Here we examine the role of the enteric peptide bombesin (BBS) in stimulation of the exocrine and endocrine pancreas during PN. BBS protects against exocrine pancreas atrophy and dysfunction caused by PN. BBS also augments circulating insulin levels, suggesting an endocrine pancreas phenotype. While no significant changes in gross endocrine pancreas morphology were observed, pancreatic islets isolated from BBS-treated PN mice showed a significantly enhanced insulin secretion response to the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist exendin-4, correlating with enhanced GLP-1 receptor expression. BBS itself had no effect on islet function, as reflected in low expression of BBS receptors in islet samples. Intestinal BBS receptor expression was enhanced in PN with BBS, and circulating active GLP-1 levels were significantly enhanced in BBS-treated PN mice. We hypothesized that BBS preserved islet function indirectly, through the enteroendocrine cell-pancreas axis. We confirmed the ability of BBS to directly stimulate intestinal enteroid cells to express the GLP-1 precursor preproglucagon. In conclusion, BBS preserves the exocrine and endocrine pancreas functions during PN; however, the endocrine stimulation is likely indirect, through the enteroendocrine cell-pancreas axis.
Cre/LoxP has broad utility for studying the function, development, and oncogenic transformation of pancreatic cells in mice. Here we provide an overview of the Cre driver lines that are available for such studies. We discuss how variegated expression, transgene silencing, and recombination in undesired cell types have conspired to limit the performance of these lines, sometimes leading to serious experimental concerns. We also discuss preferred strategies for achieving high-fidelity driver lines and remind investigators of the continuing need for caution when interpreting results obtained from any Cre/LoxP-based experiment performed in mice.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
After a meal, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) levels in the hepatic portal vein are elevated and are twice those in peripheral blood. The aim of this study was to determine whether any of GLP-1's acute metabolic effects are initiated within the hepatic portal vein. Experiments consisted of a 40-min basal period, followed by a 240-min experimental period, during which conscious 42-h-fasted dogs received glucose intraportally (4 mgxkg(-1)xmin(-1)) and peripherally (as needed) to maintain arterial plasma glucose levels at approximately 160 mg/dl. In addition, saline was given intraportally (CON; n = 8) or GLP-1 (1 pmolxkg(-1)xmin(-1)) was given into the hepatic portal vein (POR; n = 11) or the hepatic artery (HAT; n = 8). Portal vein plasma GLP-1 levels were basal in CON, 20x basal in POR, and 10x basal in HAT, whereas levels in the periphery and liver were the same in HAT and CON. The glucose infusion rate required to maintain hyperglycemia was significantly greater in POR (8.5 +/- 0.7 mgxkg(-1)xmin(-1), final 2 h) than in either CON or HAT (6.0 +/- 0.5 or 6.7 +/- 1.0 mgxkg(-1)xmin(-1), respectively). There were no differences among groups in either arterial plasma insulin (24 +/- 2, 23 +/- 3, and 23 +/- 3 microU/ml for CON, POR, and HAT, respectively) or glucagon (23 +/- 2, 30 +/- 3, and 25 +/- 2 pg/ml) levels during the experimental period. The increased need for glucose infusion reflected greater nonhepatic as opposed to liver glucose uptake. GLP-1 infusion increased glucose disposal independently of changes in pancreatic hormone secretion but only when the peptide was delivered intraportally.
All pancreatic endocrine cells, producing glucagon, insulin, somatostatin, or PP, differentiate from Pdx1+ progenitors that transiently express Neurogenin3. To understand whether the competence of pancreatic progenitors changes over time, we generated transgenic mice expressing a tamoxifen-inducible Ngn3 fusion protein under the control of the pdx1 promoter and backcrossed the transgene into the ngn3(-/-) background, devoid of endogenous endocrine cells. Early activation of Ngn3-ER(TM) almost exclusively induced glucagon+ cells, while depleting the pool of pancreas progenitors. As from E11.5, Pdx1+ progenitors became competent to differentiate into insulin+ and PP+ cells. Somatostatin+ cells were generated from E14.5, while the competence to make glucagon+ cells was dramatically decreased. Hence, pancreas progenitors, similar to retinal or cortical progenitors, go through competence states that each allow the generation of a subset of cell types. We further show that the progenitors acquire competence to generate late-born cells in a mechanism that is intrinsic to the epithelium.
The desert gerbil Psammomys obesus, an established model of type 2 diabetes (T2D), has previously been shown to lack pancreatic and duodenal homeobox gene 1 (Pdx-1) expression. Pdx-1 deficiency leads to pancreas agenesis in both mice and humans. We have therefore further examined the pancreas of P. obesus during embryonic development. Using Pdx-1 antisera raised against evolutionary conserved epitopes, we failed to detect Pdx-1 immunoreactivity at any time points. However, at E14.5, Nkx6.1 immunoreactivity marks the nuclei of all epithelial cells of the ventral and dorsal pancreatic buds and the only endocrine cell types found at this time point are glucagon and PYY. At E18.5 the pancreas is well branched and both glucagon- and ghrelin-positive cells are scattered or found in clusters, whereas insulin-positive cells are not found. At E22.5, the acini of the exocrine pancreas are starting to mature, and amylase and carboxypeptidase A immunoreactivity is found scattered and not in all acini. Ghrelin-, glucagon-, PYY-, gastrin-, somatostatin (SS)-, pancreatic polypeptide (PP)-, and insulin-immunoreactive cells are found scattered or in small groups within or lining the developing ductal epithelium as marked by cytokeratin 19. Using degenerate PCR, the P. obesus Neurogenin-3 (Ngn-3) gene was cloned. Nucleotide and amino acid sequences show high homology with known Ngn-3 sequences. Using specific antiserum, we can observe that Ngn-3-immunoreactive cells are rare at E14.5 but readily detectable at E18.5 and E22.5. In conclusion, despite the lack of detection of Pdx-1, the P. obesus pancreas develops similarly to Muridae species, and the Ngn-3 sequence and expression pattern is highly conserved in P. obesus.
We previously demonstrated, using a nerve-cooling technique, that the vagus nerves are not essential for the counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia caused by high levels of insulin. Because high insulin levels per se augment the central nervous system response to hypoglycemia, the question arises whether afferent nerve fibers traveling along the vagus nerves would play a role in the defense of hypoglycemia in the presence of a more moderate insulin level. To address this issue, we studied two groups of conscious 18-h-fasted dogs with cooling coils previously placed on both vagus nerves. Each study consisted of a 100-min equilibration period, a 40-min basal period, and a 150-min hypoglycemic period. Glucose was lowered using a glycogen phosphorylase inhibitor and a low dose of insulin infused into the portal vein (0.7 mU.kg(-1) min(-1)). The arterial plasma insulin level increased to 15 +/- 2 microU/ml and the plasma glucose level fell to a plateau of 57 +/- 3 mg/dl in both groups. The vagal cooling coils were perfused with a 37 degrees C (SHAM COOL; n = 7) or a -20 degrees C (COOL; n = 7) ethanol solution for the last 90 min of the study to block parasympathetic afferent fibers. Vagal cooling caused a marked increase in the heart rate and blocked the hypoglycemia-induced increase in the arterial pancreatic polypeptide level. The average increments in glucagon (pg/ml), epinephrine (pg/ml), norepinephrine (pg/ml), cortisol (microg/dl), glucose production (mg.kg(-1). min(-1)), and glycerol (micromol/l) in the SHAM COOL group were 53 +/- 9, 625 +/- 186, 131 +/- 48, 4.63 +/- 1.05, -0.79 +/- 0.24, and 101 +/- 18, respectively, and in the COOL group, the increments were 39 +/- 7, 837 +/- 235, 93 +/- 39, 6.28 +/- 1.03 (P < 0.05), -0.80 +/- 0.20, and 73 +/- 29, respectively. Based on these data, we conclude that, even in the absence of high insulin concentrations, afferent signaling via the vagus nerves is not required for a normal counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia.
We previously reported that infection decreases hepatic glucose uptake when glucose is given as a constant peripheral glucose infusion (8 mg. kg(-1) x min(-1)). This impairment persisted despite greater hyperinsulinemia in the infected group. In a normal setting, hepatic glucose uptake can be further enhanced if glucose is given gastrointestinally. Thus the aim of this study was to determine whether hepatic glucose uptake is impaired during an infection when glucose is given gastrointestinally. Thirty-six hours before study, a sham (SH, n = 7) or Escherichia coli-containing (2 x 10(9) organisms/kg; INF; n = 7) fibrin clot was placed in the peritoneal cavity of chronically catheterized dogs. After the 36 h, a glucose bolus (150 mg/kg) followed by a continuous infusion (8 mg. kg(-1). min(-1)) of glucose was given intraduodenally to conscious dogs for 240 min. Tracer ([3-(3)H]glucose and [U-(14)C]glucose) and arterial-venous difference techniques were used to assess hepatic and intestinal glucose metabolism. Infection increased hepatic blood flow (35 +/- 5 vs. 47+/-3 ml x g(-1) x min(-1); SH vs. INF) and basal glucose rate of appearance (2.1+/-0.2 vs. 3.3+/-0.1 mg x kg(-1) x min(-1)). Arterial insulin concentrations increased similarly in SH and INF during the last hour of glucose infusion (38+/-8 vs. 46+/-20 microU/ml), and arterial glucagon concentrations fell (62+/-14 to 30+/-3 vs. 624+/-191 to 208+/-97 pg/ml). Net intestinal glucose absorption was decreased in INF, attenuating the increase in blood glucose caused by the glucose load. Despite this, net hepatic glucose uptake (1.6+/-0.8 vs. 2.4+/- 0.9 mg x kg(-1) x min(-1); SH vs. INF) and consequently tracer-determined glycogen synthesis (1.3+/-0.3 vs. 1.0+/-0.3 mg. kg(-1) x min(-1)) were similar between groups. In summary, infection impairs net glucose absorption, but not net hepatic glucose uptake or glycogen deposition, when glucose is given intraduodenally.
The aim of these studies was to determine whether prior exercise enhances net hepatic glucose uptake (NHGU) during a glucose load. Sampling catheters (carotid artery, portal, hepatic, and iliac veins), infusion catheters (portal vein and vena cava), and Doppler flow probes (portal vein, hepatic and iliac arteries) were implanted. Exercise (150 min; n = 6) or rest (n = 6) was followed by a 30-min control period and a 100-min experimental period (3.5 mg. kg-1. min-1 of glucose in portal vein and as needed in vena cava to clamp arterial blood glucose at approximately 130 mg/dl). Somatostatin was infused, and insulin and glucagon were replaced intraportally at fourfold basal and basal rates, respectively. During experimental period the arterial-portal venous (a-pv) glucose gradient (mg/dl) was -18 +/- 1 in sedentary and -19 +/- 1 in exercised dogs. Arterial insulin and glucagon were similar in the two groups. Net hepatic glucose balance (mg. kg-1. min-1) shifted from 1.9 +/- 0.2 in control period to -1.8 +/- 0.2 (negative rates represent net uptake) during experimental period in sedentary dogs (Delta3.7 +/- 0.5); with prior exercise it shifted from 4.1 +/- 0.3 (P < 0.01 vs. sedentary) in control period to -3.2 +/- 0.4 (P < 0.05 vs. sedentary) during experimental period (Delta7.3 +/- 0.7, P < 0.01 vs. sedentary). Net hindlimb glucose uptake (mg/min) was 4 +/- 1 in sedentary animals in control period and 13 +/- 2 during experimental period; in exercised animals it was 7 +/- 1 in control period (P < 0. 01 vs. sedentary) and 32 +/- 4 (P < 0.01 vs. sedentary) during experimental period. As the total glucose infusion rate (mg. kg-1. min-1) was 7 +/- 1 in sedentary and 11 +/- 1 in exercised dogs, approximately 30% of the added glucose infusion due to prior exercise could be accounted for by the greater NHGU. In conclusion, when determinants of hepatic glucose uptake (insulin, glucagon, a-pv glucose gradient, glycemia) are controlled, prior exercise increases NHGU during a glucose load due to an effect that is intrinsic to the liver. Increased glucose disposal in the postexercise state is therefore due to an improved ability of both liver and muscle to take up glucose.
UNLABELLED - The effects of prior fast duration (18 h, n = 8; 42 h, n = 8) on the glycemic and tissue-specific responses to an intraduodenal glucose load were studied in chronically catheterized conscious dogs. [3-3H]glucose was infused throughout the study. After basal measurements, glucose spiked with [U-14C]glucose was infused for 150 min intraduodenally. Arterial insulin and glucagon were similar in the two groups. Arterial glucose (mg/dl) rose approximately 70% more during glucose infusion after 42 h than after an 18-h fast. The net hepatic glucose balance (mg. kg-1. min-1) was similar in the two groups (basal: 1.8 +/- 0.2 and 2.0 +/- 0.3; glucose infusion: -2.2 +/- 0.5 and -2.2 +/- 0.7). The intrahepatic fate of glucose was 79% glycogen, 13% oxidized, and 8% lactate release after a 42-h fast; it was 23% glycogen, 21% oxidized, and 56% lactate release after an 18-h fast. Net hindlimb glucose uptake was similar between groups. The appearance of intraduodenal glucose during glucose infusion (mg/kg) was 900 +/- 50 and 1,120 +/- 40 after 18- and 42-h fasts (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION - glucose administration after prolonged fasting induces higher circulating glucose than a shorter fast (increased appearance of intraduodenal glucose); liver and hindlimb glucose uptakes and the hormonal response, however, are unchanged; finally, an intrahepatic redistribution of carbons favors glycogen deposition.
Insulin and glucagon levels, the mass of glucose presented to the liver and the portal signal are important regulators of the liver's response to glucose delivery. The portal signal not only serves to direct glucose into the liver but also appears to stimulate its deposition in glycogen. Moreover, the portal signal impacts on tissues other than the liver: intraportal glucose delivery is associated with changes in glucose uptake by nonhepatic tissues and neurally-mediated enhancement of pancreatic insulin secretion. Our current understanding of the neural control of hepatic glucose metabolism includes a tonic block to the entry of glucose into the liver, probably mediated both by sympathetic neural activity and by a low insulin:glucagon ratio. An increase in the portal vein glucose level is detected by sensors in the portal region, which cause a decrease in the firing rate in the hepatic branch of the vagus nerve. The change in the afferent firing rate is processed in the hypothalamus and instigates a change in the efferent firing rate in the hepatic and pancreatic branches of the vagus (with corresponding increases in insulin secretion and net hepatic glucose uptake). The portal signal thus relieves the sympathetic inhibition of hepatic glucose uptake and enhances hepatic glucose uptake directly by stimulating the parasympathetic innervation to the liver and indirectly by enhancing insulin release.