p16(Ink4a)-induced senescence of pancreatic beta cells enhances insulin secretion.

Helman A, Klochendler A, Azazmeh N, Gabai Y, Horwitz E, Anzi S, Swisa A, Condiotti R, Granit RZ, Nevo Y, Fixler Y, Shreibman D, Zamir A, Tornovsky-Babeay S, Dai C, Glaser B, Powers AC, Shapiro AM, Magnuson MA, Dor Y, Ben-Porath I
Nat Med. 2016 22 (4): 412-20

PMID: 26950362 · PMCID: PMC5546206 · DOI:10.1038/nm.4054

Cellular senescence is thought to contribute to age-associated deterioration of tissue physiology. The senescence effector p16(Ink4a) is expressed in pancreatic beta cells during aging and limits their proliferative potential; however, its effects on beta cell function are poorly characterized. We found that beta cell-specific activation of p16(Ink4a) in transgenic mice enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). In mice with diabetes, this leads to improved glucose homeostasis, providing an unexpected functional benefit. Expression of p16(Ink4a) in beta cells induces hallmarks of senescence--including cell enlargement, and greater glucose uptake and mitochondrial activity--which promote increased insulin secretion. GSIS increases during the normal aging of mice and is driven by elevated p16(Ink4a) activity. We found that islets from human adults contain p16(Ink4a)-expressing senescent beta cells and that senescence induced by p16(Ink4a) in a human beta cell line increases insulin secretion in a manner dependent, in part, on the activity of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ proteins. Our findings reveal a novel role for p16(Ink4a) and cellular senescence in promoting insulin secretion by beta cells and in regulating normal functional tissue maturation with age.

MeSH Terms (16)

Aging Animals Cell Proliferation Cellular Senescence Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 Fibroblasts Gene Expression Regulation Glucose Humans Insulin Insulin-Secreting Cells Insulin Secretion Mice Mice, Transgenic PPAR gamma TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases

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