Genetic models rule out a major role of beta cell glycogen in the control of glucose homeostasis

Joan Mir-Coll, Jordi Duran, Felipe Slebe, Mar García-Rocha, Ramon Gomis, Rosa Gasa, Joan J. Guinovart

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Aims/hypothesis: Glycogen accumulation occurs in beta cells of diabetic patients and has been proposed to partly mediate glucotoxicity-induced beta cell dysfunction. However, the role of glycogen metabolism in beta cell function and its contribution to diabetes pathophysiology remain poorly understood. We investigated the function of beta cell glycogen by studying glucose homeostasis in mice with (1) defective glycogen synthesis in the pancreas; and (2) excessive glycogen accumulation in beta cells. Methods: Conditional deletion of the Gys1 gene and overexpression of protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) was accomplished by Cre-lox recombination using pancreas-specific Cre lines. Glucose homeostasis was assessed by determining fasting glycaemia, insulinaemia and glucose tolerance. Beta cell mass was determined by morphometry. Glycogen was detected histologically by periodic acid–Schiff's reagent staining. Isolated islets were used for the determination of glycogen and insulin content, insulin secretion, immunoblots and gene expression assays. Results: Gys1 knockout (Gys1KO) mice did not exhibit differences in glucose tolerance or basal glycaemia and insulinaemia relative to controls. Insulin secretion and gene expression in isolated islets was also indistinguishable between Gys1KO and controls. Conversely, despite effective glycogen overaccumulation in islets, mice with PTG overexpression (PTGOE) presented similar glucose tolerance to controls. However, under fasting conditions they exhibited lower glycaemia and higher insulinaemia. Importantly, neither young nor aged PTGOE mice showed differences in beta cell mass relative to age-matched controls. Finally, a high-fat diet did not reveal a beta cell-autonomous phenotype in either model. Conclusions/interpretation: Glycogen metabolism is not required for the maintenance of beta cell function. Glycogen accumulation in beta cells alone is not sufficient to trigger the dysfunction or loss of these cells, or progression to diabetes.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)1012-1020
Nombre de pàgines9
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de maig 2016
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