Glucose refractoriness of beta-cells from fed fa/fa ...

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Title Glucose refractoriness of beta-cells from fed fa/fa rats is ameliorated by nonesterified fatty acids
Author(s) Catherine B. Chan, J. J. Surette
Journal Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Date 1999
Volume 77
Issue 12
Start page 934
End page 942
Abstract The aim of this study was to characterize the glucose responsiveness of individual beta-cells from fa/fa rats under ad libitum feeding conditions. Enlarged intact islets from fed fa/fa rats had a compressed insulin response curve to glucose compared with smaller islets. Size-sorted islets from obese rats yielded beta-cells whose glucose responsiveness was assessed by reverse hemolytic plaque assay to determine whether glucose refractoriness was caused by a decreased number of responsive cells or output per cell. In addition, the effects of palmitic acid on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion were assessed because of evidence that nonesterified fatty acids have acute beneficial effects. Two- to threefold more beta-cells from >250 microm diameter (large) islets than 10-fold increase in recruitment of active cells from small islets, compared with only a 2.6-fold increase in large islets. This refractoriness was partially reversed by preincubation of the cells in low glucose for 2 h. In addition, secretion per cell of the large islet beta-cell population was significantly reduced compared with lean beta-cells, so that the overall response capacity of large but not small islet beta-cells was significantly reduced at high glucose. Therefore, continued near-normal function of the beta-cells from small islets of fa/fa rats seems crucial for glucose responsiveness. Incubation of beta-cells from large islets with palmitic acid normalized the secretory capacity to glucose mainly by increasing recruitment and secondarily by increasing secretion per cell. In conclusion, these studies demonstrate refractoriness to glucose of beta-cells from large islets of fa/fa rats under ad libitum feeding conditions. When acutely exposed to nonesterified fatty acids, islets from fa/fa rats have a potentiated insulin response despite chronic elevation of plasma lipids in vivo.
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