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1.  Chronic Antidiabetic Sulfonylureas In Vivo: Reversible Effects on Mouse Pancreatic β-Cells 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(10):e206.
Background
Pancreatic β-cell ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels are critical links between nutrient metabolism and insulin secretion. In humans, reduced or absent β-cell KATP channel activity resulting from loss-of-function KATP mutations induces insulin hypersecretion. Mice with reduced KATP channel activity also demonstrate hyperinsulinism, but mice with complete loss of KATP channels (KATP knockout mice) show an unexpected insulin undersecretory phenotype. Therefore we have proposed an “inverse U” hypothesis to explain the response to enhanced excitability, in which excessive hyperexcitability drives β-cells to insulin secretory failure without cell death. Many patients with type 2 diabetes treated with antidiabetic sulfonylureas (which inhibit KATP activity and thereby enhance insulin secretion) show long-term insulin secretory failure, which we further suggest might reflect a similar progression.
Methods and Findings
To test the above hypotheses, and to mechanistically investigate the consequences of prolonged hyperexcitability in vivo, we used a novel approach of implanting mice with slow-release sulfonylurea (glibenclamide) pellets, to chronically inhibit β-cell KATP channels. Glibenclamide-implanted wild-type mice became progressively and consistently diabetic, with significantly (p < 0.05) reduced insulin secretion in response to glucose. After 1 wk of treatment, these mice were as glucose intolerant as adult KATP knockout mice, and reduction of secretory capacity in freshly isolated islets from implanted animals was as significant (p < 0.05) as those from KATP knockout animals. However, secretory capacity was fully restored in islets from sulfonylurea-treated mice within hours of drug washout and in vivo within 1 mo after glibenclamide treatment was terminated. Pancreatic immunostaining showed normal islet size and α-/β-cell distribution within the islet, and TUNEL staining showed no evidence of apoptosis.
Conclusions
These results demonstrate that chronic glibenclamide treatment in vivo causes loss of insulin secretory capacity due to β-cell hyperexcitability, but also reveal rapid reversibility of this secretory failure, arguing against β-cell apoptosis or other cell death induced by sulfonylureas. These in vivo studies may help to explain why patients with type 2 diabetes can show long-term secondary failure to secrete insulin in response to sulfonylureas, but experience restoration of insulin secretion after a drug resting period, without permanent damage to β-cells. This finding suggests that novel treatment regimens may succeed in prolonging pharmacological therapies in susceptible individuals.
In a mouse study aiming to understand why long-term treatment for type 2 diabetes with sulfonylureas eventually fails, Colin Nichols and Maria Remedi suggest that slow restoration of insulin secretion may be possible after a drug-resting period.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Diabetes is an increasingly common chronic disease characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. In normal people, blood sugar levels are controlled by the hormone insulin. Insulin is released by β-cells in the pancreas when blood glucose levels rise after eating (glucose is produced by the digestion of food). In fasting people, membrane proteins called ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels keep the β-cell in a “hyperpolarized” state in which they do not secrete insulin. After a meal, glucose enters the β-cell where its chemical breakdown converts ADP into ATP (the molecule that provides the energy that drives cellular processes). The increased ratio of ATP to ADP closes the KATP channels, “depolarizes” the β-cells, and allows the entry of calcium ions, which trigger insulin release. The released insulin then “instructs” insulin-responsive muscle and fat cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream. In type 2 diabetes, the commonest type of diabetes, the muscle and fat cells gradually become nonresponsive to insulin and consequently blood glucose levels rise. Over time, this hyperglycemia increases the risk of heart attacks, kidney failure, and other life-threatening complications. On average, people with diabetes die 5–10 y younger than people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
People with type 2 diabetes are often initially treated with drugs called sulfonylureas (for example, glibenclamide). Sulfonylureas help to reduce blood glucose levels by inhibiting (in effect, closing) the KATP channels, which enhances insulin secretion. Unfortunately, after patients have been treated for several years with sulfonylureas, their β-cells often stop secreting insulin and the patients then have to inject insulin to control their blood sugar levels. The mechanism by which chronic sulfonylurea treatment affects β-cell behavior is poorly understood, which means that it is hard to improve this antidiabetes treatment. Mice that have been genetically altered so that they have no KATP channels (KATP knockout mice) also rapidly lose their ability to secrete insulin, although they secrete unusually large amounts at birth. This suggests that permanent membrane depolarization (β-cell hyperexcitability) may cause insulin secretory failure. In this study, the researchers investigate whether this mechanism might be responsible for sulfonylurea-induced loss of insulin secretion.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers implanted slowly releasing pellets of glibenclamide into wild-type mice and then monitored their blood glucose levels and glucose tolerance (the speed of glucose removal from the blood after a glucose “meal”) for up to 128 d; the pellets released drug for 90 d. The glibenclamide-implanted mice progressively developed diabetes, lost the ability to secrete insulin in response to glucose and, after 1 wk of treatment, were as glucose intolerant as adult KATP knockout mice. Compared to freshly isolated β-cells from untreated wild-type mice, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by β-cells isolated from glibenclamide-treated wild-type mice and from KATP knockout mice was reduced to a similar degree. However, the secretory capacity of β-cells isolated from the glibenclamide-treated wild-type mice was restored to normal within hours of drug washout and was normal in β-cells isolated from treated mice 1 mo after exhaustion of the slow-release pellets. Consistent with this result, there was no obvious β-cell death in the glibenclamide-treated mice.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although findings from animal studies do not always reflect what happens in people, these findings suggest that insulin secretion might sometimes fail in people who take sulfonylureas for a long time, because these drugs cause β-cell hyperexcitability. The finding that the secretory failure caused by sulfonylurea treatment is reversible is important because it suggests that short-acting sulfonylureas might be re-evaluated to see whether they could delay sulfonylurea-induced failure of the insulin secretory response by providing the pancreatic β-cells with periods when they are not depolarized. This finding (and the absence of β-cells death in the glibenclamide-treated mice) also suggests that there may be a way to reverse the loss of the insulin secretory response in patients who have taken sulfonylureas for a long time. Both approaches could help patients with diabetes delay or even avoid the need for insulin injections.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050206.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Renstrom and colleagues
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia provides information for patients about diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information on all aspects of diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The International Diabetes Federation also provides comprehensive information about diabetes
Wikipedia has pages on KATP channels and on sulfonylurea drugs (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050206
PMCID: PMC2573909  PMID: 18959471
2.  TXNIP Regulates Peripheral Glucose Metabolism in Humans  
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(5):e158.
Background
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by defects in insulin secretion and action. Impaired glucose uptake in skeletal muscle is believed to be one of the earliest features in the natural history of T2DM, although underlying mechanisms remain obscure.
Methods and Findings
We combined human insulin/glucose clamp physiological studies with genome-wide expression profiling to identify thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP) as a gene whose expression is powerfully suppressed by insulin yet stimulated by glucose. In healthy individuals, its expression was inversely correlated to total body measures of glucose uptake. Forced expression of TXNIP in cultured adipocytes significantly reduced glucose uptake, while silencing with RNA interference in adipocytes and in skeletal muscle enhanced glucose uptake, confirming that the gene product is also a regulator of glucose uptake. TXNIP expression is consistently elevated in the muscle of prediabetics and diabetics, although in a panel of 4,450 Scandinavian individuals, we found no evidence for association between common genetic variation in the TXNIP gene and T2DM.
Conclusions
TXNIP regulates both insulin-dependent and insulin-independent pathways of glucose uptake in human skeletal muscle. Combined with recent studies that have implicated TXNIP in pancreatic β-cell glucose toxicity, our data suggest that TXNIP might play a key role in defective glucose homeostasis preceding overt T2DM.
Vamsi Mootha, Leif Groop, and colleagues report that TXNIP regulates insulin-dependent and -independent pathways of glucose uptake in human skeletal muscle and that its expression is elevated in individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Editors' Summary
Background.
An epidemic of diabetes mellitus is threatening world health. 246 million people (6% of the world's population) already have diabetes and it is estimated that within 20 years, 380 million people will have this chronic disease, most of them in developing countries. Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. It arises when the pancreas does not make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or when the body responds poorly to insulin (type 2 diabetes). Insulin, which is released in response to high blood glucose levels, instructs muscle, fat, and liver cells to take glucose (a product of food digestion) out of the bloodstream; cells use glucose as a fuel. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of all cases of diabetes, is characterized by impaired glucose uptake by target tissues in response to insulin (this “insulin resistance” is one of the first signs of type 2 diabetes) and inappropriate glucose release from liver cells. Over time, the pancreas may also make less insulin. These changes result in poor glucose homeostasis (inadequate control of blood sugar levels), which can cause life-threatening complications such as kidney failure and heart attacks.
Why Was This Study Done?
If the world diabetes epidemic is to be halted, researchers need a better understanding of glucose homeostasis and need to identify which parts of this complex control system go awry in type 2 diabetes. This information might suggest ways to prevent type 2 diabetes developing in the first place and might reveal targets for drugs that could slow or reverse the disease process. In this study, the researchers have used multiple approaches to identify a new mediator of glucose homeostasis and to investigate whether this mediator is causally involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers took small muscle samples from people who did not have diabetes before and after increasing their blood insulin levels and used a technique called “microarray expression profiling” to identify genes whose expression was induced or suppressed by insulin. One of the latter genes was thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP), a gene whose expression is strongly induced by glucose yet suppressed by insulin. They next used previously published microarray expression data to show that TXNIP expression was consistently higher in the muscles of patients with diabetes or prediabetes (a condition in which blood glucose levels are slightly raised) than in normal individuals. The researchers then examined whether TXNIP expression was correlated with glucose uptake, again using previously published data. In people with no diabetes and those with prediabetes, as glucose uptake rates increased, TXNIP expression decreased but this inverse correlation was missing in people with diabetes. Finally, by manipulating TXNIP expression levels in insulin-responsive cells grown in the laboratory, the researchers found that TXNIP overexpression reduced basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake but that reduced TXNIP expression had the opposite effect.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results provide strong evidence that TXNIP is a regulator of glucose homeostasis in people. Specifically, the researchers propose that TXNIP regulates glucose uptake in the periphery of the human body by acting as a glucose- and insulin-sensitive switch. They also suggest how it might be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. Early in the disease process, a small insulin deficiency or slightly raised blood sugar levels would increase TXNIP expression in muscles and suppress glucose uptake by these cells. Initially, the pancreas would compensate for this by producing more insulin, but this compensation would eventually fail, allowing blood sugar levels to rise sufficiently to increase TXNIP expression in the pancreas. Previously published results suggest that this would induce the loss of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, thus further reducing insulin production and glucose uptake in the periphery and, ultimately, resulting in type 2 diabetes. Although there are many unanswered questions about the exact role of TXNIP in glucose homeostasis, these results help to explain many of the changes in glucose control that occur early in the development of diabetes. Furthermore, they suggest that interventions designed to modulate the activity of TXNIP might break the vicious cycle that eventually leads to type 2 diabetes.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040158.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on diabetes
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has information for patients on diabetes
Information on diabetes is available for patients and professionals from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The American Diabetes Association provides information on diabetes for patients
International Diabetes Federation has information on diabetes and a recent press release on the global diabetes epidemic
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040158
PMCID: PMC1858708  PMID: 17472435
3.  Combinatorial Insulin Secretion Dynamics of Recombinant Hepatic and Enteroendocrine Cells 
Biotechnology and Bioengineering  2011;109(4):1074-1082.
One of the more promising cell-based therapies for combating insulin-dependent diabetes entails the use of genetically engineered non-β cells that secrete insulin in response to physiologic stimuli. A normal pancreatic β cell secretes insulin in a biphasic manner in response to glucose. The first phase is characterized by a transient stimulation of insulin to rapidly lower the blood glucose levels, which is followed by a second phase of insulin secretion to sustain the lowered blood glucose levels over a longer period of time. Previous studies have demonstrated hepatic and enteroendocrine cells to be appropriate hosts for recombinant insulin expression. Due to different insulin secretion kinetics from these cells, we hypothesized that a combination of the two cell types would mimic the biphasic insulin secretion of normal β cells with higher fidelity than either cell type alone. In this study, insulin secretion experiments were conducted with two hepatic cell lines (HepG2 and H4IIE) transduced with one of three adenoviruses expressing the insulin transgene and with a stably transfected recombinant intestinal cell line (GLUTag-INS). Insulin secretion was stimulated by exposing the cells to glucose only (hepatic cells), meat hydrolysate only (GLUTag-INS), or to a cocktail of the two secretagogues. It was found experimentally that the recombinant hepatic cells secreted insulin in a more sustained manner, whereas the recombinant intestinal cell line exhibited rapid insulin secretion kinetics upon stimulation. The insulin secretion profiles were computationally combined at different cell ratios to arrive at the combinatorial kinetics. Results indicate that combinations of these two cell types allow for tuning the first and second phase of insulin secretion better than either cell type alone. This work provides the basic framework in understanding the secretion kinetics of the combined system and advances it towards pre-clinical studies.
doi:10.1002/bit.24373
PMCID: PMC3288548  PMID: 22094821
Recombinant; hepatic; enteroendocrine; insulin; combinatorial; biphasic
4.  Independent Associations of Fasting Insulin, Glucose, and Glycated Haemoglobin with Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease in Older Women 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(8):e263.
Background
Evidence suggests that variations in fasting glucose and insulin amongst those without frank type 2 diabetes mellitus are important determinants of cardiovascular disease. However, the relative importance of variations in fasting insulin, glucose, and glycated haemoglobin as risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women without diabetes is unclear. Our aim was to determine the independent associations of fasting insulin, glucose, and glycated haemoglobin with coronary heart disease and stroke in older women.
Methods and Findings
We undertook a prospective cohort study of 3,246 British women aged 60–79 y, all of whom were free of baseline coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and all of whom had fasting glucose levels below 7 mmol/l. Fasting insulin and homeostasis model assessment for insulin sensitivity (HOMA-S) were linearly associated with a combined outcome of coronary heart disease or stroke (n = 219 events), but there was no association of fasting glucose or glycated haemoglobin with these outcomes. Results were similar for coronary heart disease and stroke as separate outcomes. The age, life-course socioeconomic position, smoking, and physical activity adjusted hazard ratio for a combined outcome of incident coronary heart disease or stroke per one standard deviation of fasting insulin was 1.14 (95% CI 1.02–1.33). Additional adjustment for other components of metabolic syndrome, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting glucose, and glycated haemoglobin had little effect on this result.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that in women in the 60–79 y age range, insulin resistance, rather than insulin secretion or chronic hyperglycaemia, is a more important risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. Below currently used thresholds of fasting glucose for defining diabetes, neither fasting glucose nor glycated haemoglobin are associated with cardiovascular disease.
From a prospective study of women aged 60-79 years, Debbie Lawlor and colleagues conclude that insulin resistance is an important risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Narrowing of the vessels that take blood to the heart and brain is a common form of cardiovascular disease—i.e., a disorder of the heart and blood vessels. It is a major cause of illness and death. By starving the heart and brain of oxygen, this condition causes coronary heart disease (CHD; heart problems such as angina and heart attacks) and strokes. A major risk factor for CHD and strokes is diabetes, a common chronic disease characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. In people who don't have diabetes, the hormone insulin controls blood-sugar levels. Insulin, which is released by the pancreas after eating, “instructs” insulin-responsive muscle and fat cells to absorb the glucose (released from food) from the bloodstream. In the very early stages of type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes, also called “adult onset” or “noninsulin-dependent” diabetes”), muscle and fat cells become unresponsive to insulin, so blood-sugar levels increase. This is called “insulin resistance.” The pancreas responds by making more insulin. As a result, people with insulin resistance have high blood levels of both insulin (hyperinsulinemia) and glucose (hyperglycemia). Eventually, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas start to malfunction, insulin secretion decreases, and type 2 diabetes is the result.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is not yet clear whether it is insulin resistance or reduced insulin secretion that is responsible for the association between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Physicians would like to know this information to help them to prevent CHD and strokes in their patients. There is evidence that variations in fasting glucose levels (blood glucose measured more than 8 h after eating), which provide an indication of how well pancreatic cells are producing insulin, and in fasting insulin levels, which provide an indication of insulin resistance, determine cardiovascular disease risk among people without type 2 diabetes, but the relative importance of these risk factors is unclear. In this study, the researchers have investigated whether markers of insulin resistance (fasting hyperinsulinemia) and of altered insulin secretion (fasting hyperglycemia, and increased glycated hemoglobin, which indicates how much sugar has been in the blood over the past few months) are associated with CHD and strokes in elderly women without diabetes. Their aim is to gain new insights into how diabetes affects cardiovascular disease risk.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers measured glucose, insulin, and glycated hemoglobulin in fasting blood samples taken from about 3,000 women aged 60–79 y when they enrolled in the British Women's Heart and Health Study. None of the women had CHD at enrollment, none had had a stroke, none had diagnosed diabetes, and all had a fasting blood glucose below 7 mmol/l (a higher reading indicates diabetes). After monitoring the women for nearly 5 y for CHD and strokes, the researchers looked for statistical associations between the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and markers of insulin resistance and reduced insulin secretion. They found that fasting insulin levels, but not fasting glucose or glycated hemoglobin levels, were associated with CHD and stroke, even after allowing for other factors that affect cardiovascular disease risk such as smoking and physical activity. In other words, raised fasting insulin levels increased the women's risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results indicate that in elderly women without diabetes, fasting insulin (a marker of insulin resistance) is a better predictor of future cardiovascular disease risk than fasting glucose or glycated hemoglobin (markers of reduced insulin secretion). This suggests that insulin resistance might be the main mechanism linking type 2 diabetes to CHD and stroke in elderly women. (Elderly women are known to run a high risk of developing these conditions, but they have been relatively neglected in previous studies of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.) However, because relatively few women developed CHD during the study and even fewer had a stroke, this conclusion needs confirming in larger studies, preferably ones that include more rigorous tests of insulin resistance and secretion and also include women from more ethnic backgrounds than this study did. If the association between fasting insulin levels and cardiovascular disease risk is confirmed, therapeutic interventions or lifestyle interventions (for example, increased physical activity or weight loss) that prevent or reverse insulin resistance might reduce cardiovascular disease risk better than interventions that prevent chronic hyperglycemia.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040263.
MedlinePlus encyclopedia page on coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (in English and Spanish)
Information for patients and caregivers from the US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse on diabetes, including information on insulin resistance and on diabetes, heart disease, and stroke
Information on the British Women's Heart and Health Study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040263
PMCID: PMC1952205  PMID: 17760500
5.  Muscle Mitochondrial ATP Synthesis and Glucose Transport/Phosphorylation in Type 2 Diabetes 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(5):e154.
Background
Muscular insulin resistance is frequently characterized by blunted increases in glucose-6-phosphate (G-6-P) reflecting impaired glucose transport/phosphorylation. These abnormalities likely relate to excessive intramyocellular lipids and mitochondrial dysfunction. We hypothesized that alterations in insulin action and mitochondrial function should be present even in nonobese patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods and Findings
We measured G-6-P, ATP synthetic flux (i.e., synthesis) and lipid contents of skeletal muscle with 31P/1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy in ten patients with T2DM and in two control groups: ten sex-, age-, and body mass-matched elderly people; and 11 younger healthy individuals. Although insulin sensitivity was lower in patients with T2DM, muscle lipid contents were comparable and hyperinsulinemia increased G-6-P by 50% (95% confidence interval [CI] 39%–99%) in all groups. Patients with diabetes had 27% lower fasting ATP synthetic flux compared to younger controls (p = 0.031). Insulin stimulation increased ATP synthetic flux only in controls (younger: 26%, 95% CI 13%–42%; older: 11%, 95% CI 2%–25%), but failed to increase even during hyperglycemic hyperinsulinemia in patients with T2DM. Fasting free fatty acids and waist-to-hip ratios explained 44% of basal ATP synthetic flux. Insulin sensitivity explained 30% of insulin-stimulated ATP synthetic flux.
Conclusions
Patients with well-controlled T2DM feature slightly lower flux through muscle ATP synthesis, which occurs independently of glucose transport /phosphorylation and lipid deposition but is determined by lipid availability and insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, the reduction in insulin-stimulated glucose disposal despite normal glucose transport/phosphorylation suggests further abnormalities mainly in glycogen synthesis in these patients.
Michael Roden and colleagues report that even patients with well-controlled insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes have altered mitochondrial function.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Diabetes mellitus is an increasingly common chronic disease characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. In normal individuals, blood sugar levels are maintained by the hormone insulin. Insulin is released by the pancreas when blood glucose levels rise after eating (glucose is produced by the digestion of food) and “instructs” insulin-responsive muscle and fat cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream. The cells then use glucose as a fuel or convert it into glycogen, a storage form of glucose. In type 2 diabetes, the commonest type of diabetes, the muscle and fat cells become nonresponsive to insulin (a condition called insulin resistance) and consequently blood glucose levels rise. Over time, this hyperglycemia increases the risk of heart attacks, kidney failure, and other life-threatening complications.
Why Was This Study Done?
Insulin resistance is often an early sign of type 2 diabetes, sometimes predating its development by many years, so understanding its causes might provide clues about how to stop the global diabetes epidemic. One theory is that mitochondria—cellular structures that produce the energy (in the form of a molecule called ATP) needed to keep cells functioning—do not work properly in people with insulin resistance. Mitochondria change (metabolize) fatty acids into energy, and recent studies have revealed that fat accumulation caused by poorly regulated fatty acid metabolism blocks insulin signaling, thus causing insulin resistance. Other studies using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to study mitochondrial function noninvasively in human muscle indicate that mitochondria are dysfunctional in people with insulin resistance by showing that ATP synthesis is impaired in such individuals. In this study, the researchers have examined both baseline and insulin-stimulated mitochondrial function in nonobese patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes and in normal controls to discover more about the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers determined the insulin sensitivity of people with type 2 diabetes and two sets of people (the “controls”) who did not have diabetes: one in which the volunteers were age-matched to the people with diabetes, and the other containing younger individuals (insulin resistance increases with age). To study insulin sensitivity in all three groups, the researchers used a “hyperinsulinemic–euglycemic clamp.” For this, after an overnight fast, the participants' insulin levels were kept high with a continuous insulin infusion while blood glucose levels were kept normal using a variable glucose infusion. In this situation, the glucose infusion rate equals glucose uptake by the body and therefore measures tissue sensitivity to insulin. Before and during the clamp, the researchers used MRS to measure glucose-6-phosphate (an indicator of how effectively glucose is taken into cells and phosphorylated), ATP synthesis, and the fat content of the participants' muscle cells. Insulin sensitivity was lower in the patients with diabetes than in the controls, but muscle lipid content was comparable and hyperinsulinemia increased glucose-6-phosphate levels similarly in all the groups. Patients with diabetes and the older controls had lower fasting ATP synthesis rates than the young controls and, whereas insulin stimulation increased ATP synthesis in all the controls, it had no effect in the patients with diabetes. In addition, fasting blood fatty acid levels were inversely related to basal ATP synthesis, whereas insulin sensitivity was directly related to insulin-stimulated ATP synthesis.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the impairment of muscle mitochondrial ATP synthesis in fasting conditions and after insulin stimulation in people with diabetes is not due to impaired glucose transport/phosphorylation or fat deposition in the muscles. Instead, it seems to be determined by lipid availability and insulin sensitivity. These results add to the evidence suggesting that mitochondrial function is disrupted in type 2 diabetes and in insulin resistance, but also suggest that there may be abnormalities in glycogen synthesis. More work is needed to determine the exact nature of these abnormalities and to discover whether they can be modulated to prevent the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. For now, though, these findings re-emphasize the need for people with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance to reduce their food intake to compensate for the reduced energy needs of their muscles and to exercise to increase the ATP-generating capacity of their muscles. Both lifestyle changes could improve their overall health and life expectancy.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040154.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on diabetes
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information for patients on diabetes and insulin resistance
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on diabetes for patients and professionals
American Diabetes Association provides information for patients on diabetes and insulin resistance
Diabetes UK has information for patients and professionals on diabetes
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040154
PMCID: PMC1858707  PMID: 17472434
6.  Engineering an L-cell line that expresses insulin under the control of the glucagon-like peptide-1 promoter for diabetes treatment 
BMC Biotechnology  2011;11:99.
Background
Diabetes mellitus is a complicated disease with a pathophysiology that includes hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia and other metabolic impairments leading to many clinical complications. It is necessary to develop appropriate treatments to manage the disease and reduce possible acute and chronic side effects. The advent of gene therapy has generated excitement in the medical world for the possible application of gene therapy in the treatment of diabetes. The glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) promoter, which is recognised by gut L-cells, is an appealing candidate for gene therapy purposes. The specific properties of L-cells suggest that L-cells and the GLP-1 promoter would be useful for diabetes therapy approaches.
Results
In this study, L-cells were isolated from a primary intestinal cell line to create suitable target cells for insulin expression studies. The isolated cells displayed L-cell properties and were therefore used as an L-cell surrogate. Next, the isolated L-cells were transfected with the recombinant plasmid consisting of an insulin gene located downstream of the GLP-1 promoter. The secretion tests revealed that an increase in glucose concentration from 5 mM to 25 mM induced insulin gene expression in the L-cells by 2.7-fold. Furthermore, L-cells quickly responded to the glucose stimulation; the amount of insulin protein increased 2-fold in the first 30 minutes and then reached a plateau after 90 minutes.
Conclusion
Our data showed that L-cells efficiently produced the mature insulin protein. In addition, the insulin protein secretion was positively regulated with glucose induction. In conclusion, GLP-1 promoter and L-cell could be potential candidates for diabetes gene therapy agents.
doi:10.1186/1472-6750-11-99
PMCID: PMC3229441  PMID: 22047106
7.  Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII) Pumps for Type 1 and Type 2 Adult Diabetic Populations 
Executive Summary
In June 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding strategies for successful management and treatment of diabetes. This project came about when the Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the Ministry’s newly released Diabetes Strategy.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified five key areas in which evidence was needed. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five areas: insulin pumps, behavioural interventions, bariatric surgery, home telemonitoring, and community based care. For each area, an economic analysis was completed where appropriate and is described in a separate report.
To review these titles within the Diabetes Strategy Evidence series, please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html,
Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Pumps for Type 1 and Type 2 Adult Diabetics: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Bariatric Surgery for People with Diabetes and Morbid Obesity: An Evidence-Based Summary
Community-Based Care for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telemonitoring for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Application of the Ontario Diabetes Economic Model (ODEM) to Determine the Cost-effectiveness and Budget Impact of Selected Type 2 Diabetes Interventions in Ontario
Objective
The objective of this analysis is to review the efficacy of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) pumps as compared to multiple daily injections (MDI) for the type 1 and type 2 adult diabetics.
Clinical Need and Target Population
Insulin therapy is an integral component of the treatment of many individuals with diabetes. Type 1, or juvenile-onset diabetes, is a life-long disorder that commonly manifests in children and adolescents, but onset can occur at any age. It represents about 10% of the total diabetes population and involves immune-mediated destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas. The loss of these cells results in a decrease in insulin production, which in turn necessitates exogenous insulin therapy.
Type 2, or ‘maturity-onset’ diabetes represents about 90% of the total diabetes population and is marked by a resistance to insulin or insufficient insulin secretion. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age, obesity, and lack of physical activity. The condition tends to develop gradually and may remain undiagnosed for many years. Approximately 30% of patients with type 2 diabetes eventually require insulin therapy.
CSII Pumps
In conventional therapy programs for diabetes, insulin is injected once or twice a day in some combination of short- and long-acting insulin preparations. Some patients require intensive therapy regimes known as multiple daily injection (MDI) programs, in which insulin is injected three or more times a day. It’s a time consuming process and usually requires an injection of slow acting basal insulin in the morning or evening and frequent doses of short-acting insulin prior to eating. The most common form of slower acting insulin used is neutral protamine gagedorn (NPH), which reaches peak activity 3 to 5 hours after injection. There are some concerns surrounding the use of NPH at night-time as, if injected immediately before bed, nocturnal hypoglycemia may occur. To combat nocturnal hypoglycemia and other issues related to absorption, alternative insulins have been developed, such as the slow-acting insulin glargine. Glargine has no peak action time and instead acts consistently over a twenty-four hour period, helping reduce the frequency of hypoglycemic episodes.
Alternatively, intensive therapy regimes can be administered by continuous insulin infusion (CSII) pumps. These devices attempt to closely mimic the behaviour of the pancreas, continuously providing a basal level insulin to the body with additional boluses at meal times. Modern CSII pumps are comprised of a small battery-driven pump that is designed to administer insulin subcutaneously through the abdominal wall via butterfly needle. The insulin dose is adjusted in response to measured capillary glucose values in a fashion similar to MDI and is thus often seen as a preferred method to multiple injection therapy. There are, however, still risks associated with the use of CSII pumps. Despite the increased use of CSII pumps, there is uncertainty around their effectiveness as compared to MDI for improving glycemic control.
Part A: Type 1 Diabetic Adults (≥19 years)
An evidence-based analysis on the efficacy of CSII pumps compared to MDI was carried out on both type 1 and type 2 adult diabetic populations.
Research Questions
Are CSII pumps more effective than MDI for improving glycemic control in adults (≥19 years) with type 1 diabetes?
Are CSII pumps more effective than MDI for improving additional outcomes related to diabetes such as quality of life (QoL)?
Literature Search
Inclusion Criteria
Randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, meta-analysis and/or health technology assessments from MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL
Adults (≥ 19 years)
Type 1 diabetes
Study evaluates CSII vs. MDI
Published between January 1, 2002 – March 24, 2009
Patient currently on intensive insulin therapy
Exclusion Criteria
Studies with <20 patients
Studies <5 weeks in duration
CSII applied only at night time and not 24 hours/day
Mixed group of diabetes patients (children, adults, type 1, type 2)
Pregnancy studies
Outcomes of Interest
The primary outcomes of interest were glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, mean daily blood glucose, glucose variability, and frequency of hypoglycaemic events. Other outcomes of interest were insulin requirements, adverse events, and quality of life.
Search Strategy
The literature search strategy employed keywords and subject headings to capture the concepts of:
1) insulin pumps, and
2) type 1 diabetes.
The search was run on July 6, 2008 in the following databases: Ovid MEDLINE (1996 to June Week 4 2008), OVID MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE (1980 to 2008 Week 26), OVID CINAHL (1982 to June Week 4 2008) the Cochrane Library, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination/International Agency for Health Technology Assessment. A search update was run on March 24, 2009 and studies published prior to 2002 were also examined for inclusion into the review. Parallel search strategies were developed for the remaining databases. Search results were limited to human and English-language published between January 2002 and March 24, 2009. Abstracts were reviewed, and studies meeting the inclusion criteria outlined above were obtained. Reference lists were also checked for relevant studies.
Summary of Findings
The database search identified 519 relevant citations published between 1996 and March 24, 2009. Of the 519 abstracts reviewed, four RCTs and one abstract met the inclusion criteria outlined above. While efficacy outcomes were reported in each of the trials, a meta-analysis was not possible due to missing data around standard deviations of change values as well as missing data for the first period of the crossover arm of the trial. Meta-analysis was not possible on other outcomes (quality of life, insulin requirements, frequency of hypoglycemia) due to differences in reporting.
HbA1c
In studies where no baseline data was reported, the final values were used. Two studies (Hanaire-Broutin et al. 2000, Hoogma et al. 2005) reported a slight reduction in HbA1c of 0.35% and 0.22% respectively for CSII pumps in comparison to MDI. A slightly larger reduction in HbA1c of 0.84% was reported by DeVries et al.; however, this study was the only study to include patients with poor glycemic control marked by higher baseline HbA1c levels. One study (Bruttomesso et al. 2008) showed no difference between CSII pumps and MDI on Hba1c levels and was the only study using insulin glargine (consistent with results of parallel RCT in abstract by Bolli 2004). While there is statistically significant reduction in HbA1c in three of four trials, there is no evidence to suggest these results are clinically significant.
Mean Blood Glucose
Three of four studies reported a statistically significant reduction in the mean daily blood glucose for patients using CSII pump, though these results were not clinically significant. One study (DeVries et al. 2002) did not report study data on mean blood glucose but noted that the differences were not statistically significant. There is difficulty with interpreting study findings as blood glucose was measured differently across studies. Three of four studies used a glucose diary, while one study used a memory meter. In addition, frequency of self monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) varied from four to nine times per day. Measurements used to determine differences in mean daily blood glucose between the CSII pump group and MDI group at clinic visits were collected at varying time points. Two studies use measurements from the last day prior to the final visit (Hoogma et al. 2005, DeVries et al. 2002), while one study used measurements taken during the last 30 days and another study used measurements taken during the 14 days prior to the final visit of each treatment period.
Glucose Variability
All four studies showed a statistically significant reduction in glucose variability for patients using CSII pumps compared to those using MDI, though one, Bruttomesso et al. 2008, only showed a significant reduction at the morning time point. Brutomesso et al. also used alternate measures of glucose variability and found that both the Lability index and mean amplitude of glycemic excursions (MAGE) were in concordance with the findings using the standard deviation (SD) values of mean blood glucose, but the average daily risk range (ADRR) showed no difference between the CSII pump and MDI groups.
Hypoglycemic Events
There is conflicting evidence concerning the efficacy of CSII pumps in decreasing both mild and severe hypoglycemic events. For mild hypoglycemic events, DeVries et al. observed a higher number of events per patient week in the CSII pump group than the MDI group, while Hoogma et al. observed a higher number of events per patient year in the MDI group. The remaining two studies found no differences between the two groups in the frequency of mild hypoglycemic events. For severe hypoglycemic events, Hoogma et al. found an increase in events per patient year among MDI patients, however, all of the other RCTs showed no difference between the patient groups in this aspect.
Insulin Requirements and Adverse Events
In all four studies, insulin requirements were significantly lower in patients receiving CSII pump treatment in comparison to MDI. This difference was statistically significant in all studies. Adverse events were reported in three studies. Devries et al. found no difference in ketoacidotic episodes between CSII pump and MDI users. Bruttomesso et al. reported no adverse events during the study. Hanaire-Broutin et al. found that 30 patients experienced 58 serious adverse events (SAEs) during MDI and 23 patients had 33 SAEs during treatment out of a total of 256 patients. Most events were related to severe hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Quality of Life and Patient Preference
QoL was measured in three studies and patient preference was measured in one. All three studies found an improvement in QoL for CSII users compared to those using MDI, although various instruments were used among the studies and possible reporting bias was evident as non-positive outcomes were not consistently reported. Moreover, there was also conflicting results in two of the studies using the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire (DTSQ). DeVries et al. reported no difference in treatment satisfaction between CSII pump users and MDI users while Brutomesso et al. reported that treatment satisfaction improved among CSII pump users.
Patient preference for CSII pumps was demonstrated in just one study (Hanaire-Broutin et al. 2000) and there are considerable limitations with interpreting this data as it was gathered through interview and 72% of patients that preferred CSII pumps were previously on CSII pump therapy prior to the study. As all studies were industry sponsored, findings on QoL and patient preference must be interpreted with caution.
Quality of Evidence
Overall, the body of evidence was downgraded from high to low due to study quality and issues with directness as identified using the GRADE quality assessment tool (see Table 1) While blinding of patient to intervention/control was not feasible in these studies, blinding of study personnel during outcome assessment and allocation concealment were generally lacking. Trials reported consistent results for the outcomes HbA1c, mean blood glucose and glucose variability, but the directness or generalizability of studies, particularly with respect to the generalizability of the diabetic population, was questionable as most trials used highly motivated populations with fairly good glycemic control. In addition, the populations in each of the studies varied with respect to prior treatment regimens, which may not be generalizable to the population eligible for pumps in Ontario. For the outcome of hypoglycaemic events the evidence was further downgraded to very low since there was conflicting evidence between studies with respect to the frequency of mild and severe hypoglycaemic events in patients using CSII pumps as compared to CSII (see Table 2). The GRADE quality of evidence for the use of CSII in adults with type 1 diabetes is therefore low to very low and any estimate of effect is, therefore, uncertain.
GRADE Quality Assessment for CSII pumps vs. MDI on HbA1c, Mean Blood Glucose, and Glucose Variability for Adults with Type 1 Diabetes
Inadequate or unknown allocation concealment (3/4 studies); Unblinded assessment (all studies) however lack of blinding due to the nature of the study; No ITT analysis (2/4 studies); possible bias SMBG (all studies)
HbA1c: 3/4 studies show consistency however magnitude of effect varies greatly; Single study uses insulin glargine instead of NPH; Mean Blood Glucose: 3/4 studies show consistency however magnitude of effect varies between studies; Glucose Variability: All studies show consistency but 1 study only showed a significant effect in the morning
Generalizability in question due to varying populations: highly motivated populations, educational component of interventions/ run-in phases, insulin pen use in 2/4 studies and varying levels of baseline glycemic control and experience with intensified insulin therapy, pumps and MDI.
GRADE Quality Assessment for CSII pumps vs. MDI on Frequency of Hypoglycemic
Inadequate or unknown allocation concealment (3/4 studies); Unblinded assessment (all studies) however lack of blinding due to the nature of the study; No ITT analysis (2/4 studies); possible bias SMBG (all studies)
Conflicting evidence with respect to mild and severe hypoglycemic events reported in studies
Generalizability in question due to varying populations: highly motivated populations, educational component of interventions/ run-in phases, insulin pen use in 2/4 studies and varying levels of baseline glycemic control and experience with intensified insulin therapy, pumps and MDI.
Economic Analysis
One article was included in the analysis from the economic literature scan. Four other economic evaluations were identified but did not meet our inclusion criteria. Two of these articles did not compare CSII with MDI and the other two articles used summary estimates from a mixed population with Type 1 and 2 diabetes in their economic microsimulation to estimate costs and effects over time. Included were English articles that conducted comparisons between CSII and MDI with the outcome of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) in an adult population with type 1 diabetes.
From one study, a subset of the population with type 1 diabetes was identified that may be suitable and benefit from using insulin pumps. There is, however, limited data in the literature addressing the cost-effectiveness of insulin pumps versus MDI in type 1 diabetes. Longer term models are required to estimate the long term costs and effects of pumps compared to MDI in this population.
Conclusions
CSII pumps for the treatment of adults with type 1 diabetes
Based on low-quality evidence, CSII pumps confer a statistically significant but not clinically significant reduction in HbA1c and mean daily blood glucose as compared to MDI in adults with type 1 diabetes (>19 years).
CSII pumps also confer a statistically significant reduction in glucose variability as compared to MDI in adults with type 1 diabetes (>19 years) however the clinical significance is unknown.
There is indirect evidence that the use of newer long-acting insulins (e.g. insulin glargine) in MDI regimens result in less of a difference between MDI and CSII compared to differences between MDI and CSII in which older insulins are used.
There is conflicting evidence regarding both mild and severe hypoglycemic events in this population when using CSII pumps as compared to MDI. These findings are based on very low-quality evidence.
There is an improved quality of life for patients using CSII pumps as compared to MDI however, limitations exist with this evidence.
Significant limitations of the literature exist specifically:
All studies sponsored by insulin pump manufacturers
All studies used crossover design
Prior treatment regimens varied
Types of insulins used in study varied (NPH vs. glargine)
Generalizability of studies in question as populations were highly motivated and half of studies used insulin pens as the mode of delivery for MDI
One short-term study concluded that pumps are cost-effective, although this was based on limited data and longer term models are required to estimate the long-term costs and effects of pumps compared to MDI in adults with type 1 diabetes.
Part B: Type 2 Diabetic Adults
Research Questions
Are CSII pumps more effective than MDI for improving glycemic control in adults (≥19 years) with type 2 diabetes?
Are CSII pumps more effective than MDI for improving other outcomes related to diabetes such as quality of life?
Literature Search
Inclusion Criteria
Randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, meta-analysis and/or health technology assessments from MEDLINE, Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL)
Any person with type 2 diabetes requiring insulin treatment intensive
Published between January 1, 2000 – August 2008
Exclusion Criteria
Studies with <10 patients
Studies <5 weeks in duration
CSII applied only at night time and not 24 hours/day
Mixed group of diabetes patients (children, adults, type 1, type 2)
Pregnancy studies
Outcomes of Interest
The primary outcome of interest was a reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. Other outcomes of interest were mean blood glucose level, glucose variability, insulin requirements, frequency of hypoglycemic events, adverse events, and quality of life.
Search Strategy
A comprehensive literature search was performed in OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published between January 1, 2000 and August 15, 2008. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were selected from the search results. Data on the study characteristics, patient characteristics, primary and secondary treatment outcomes, and adverse events were abstracted. Reference lists of selected articles were also checked for relevant studies. The quality of the evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE methodology.
Summary of Findings
The database search identified 286 relevant citations published between 1996 and August 2008. Of the 286 abstracts reviewed, four RCTs met the inclusion criteria outlined above. Upon examination, two studies were subsequently excluded from the meta-analysis due to small sample size and missing data (Berthe et al.), as well as outlier status and high drop out rate (Wainstein et al) which is consistent with previously reported meta-analyses on this topic (Jeitler et al 2008, and Fatourechi M et al. 2009).
HbA1c
The primary outcome in this analysis was reduction in HbA1c. Both studies demonstrated that both CSII pumps and MDI reduce HbA1c, but neither treatment modality was found to be superior to the other. The results of a random effects model meta-analysis showed a mean difference in HbA1c of -0.14 (-0.40, 0.13) between the two groups, which was found not to be statistically or clinically significant. There was no statistical heterogeneity observed between the two studies (I2=0%).
Forrest plot of two parallel, RCTs comparing CSII to MDI in type 2 diabetes
Secondary Outcomes
Mean Blood Glucose and Glucose Variability
Mean blood glucose was only used as an efficacy outcome in one study (Raskin et al. 2003). The authors found that the only time point in which there were consistently lower blood glucose values for the CSII group compared to the MDI group was 90 minutes after breakfast. Glucose variability was not examined in either study and the authors reported no difference in weight gain between the CSII pump group and MDI groups at the end of study. Conflicting results were reported regarding injection site reactions between the two studies. Herman et al. reported no difference in the number of subjects experiencing site problems between the two groups, while Raskin et al. reported that there were no injection site reactions in the MDI group but 15 such episodes among 8 participants in the CSII pump group.
Frequency of Hypoglycemic Events and Insulin Requirements
All studies reported that there were no differences in the number of mild hypoglycemic events in patients on CSII pumps versus MDI. Herman et al. also reported no differences in the number of severe hypoglycemic events in patients using CSII pumps compared to those on MDI. Raskin et al. reported that there were no severe hypoglycemic events in either group throughout the study duration. Insulin requirements were only examined in Herman et al., who found that daily insulin requirements were equal between the CSII pump and MDI treatment groups.
Quality of Life
QoL was measured by Herman et al. using the Diabetes Quality of Life Clinical Trial Questionnaire (DQOLCTQ). There were no differences reported between CSII users and MDI users for treatment satisfaction, diabetes impact, and worry-related scores. Patient satisfaction was measured in Raskin et al. using a patient satisfaction questionnaire, whose results indicated that patients in the CSII pump group had significantly greater improvement in overall treatment satisfaction at the end of the study compared to the MDI group. Although patient preference was also reported, it was only examined in the CSII pump group, thus results indicating a greater preference for CSII pumps in this groups (as compared to prior injectable insulin regimens) are biased and must be interpreted with caution.
Quality of Evidence
Overall, the body of evidence was downgraded from high to low according to study quality and issues with directness as identified using the GRADE quality assessment tool (see Table 3). While blinding of patient to intervention/control is not feasible in these studies, blinding of study personnel during outcome assessment and allocation concealment were generally lacking. ITT was not clearly explained in one study and heterogeneity between study populations was evident from participants’ treatment regimens prior to study initiation. Although trials reported consistent results for HbA1c outcomes, the directness or generalizability of studies, particularly with respect to the generalizability of the diabetic population, was questionable as trials required patients to adhere to an intense SMBG regimen. This suggests that patients were highly motivated. In addition, since prior treatment regimens varied between participants (no requirement for patients to be on MDI), study findings may not be generalizable to the population eligible for a pump in Ontario. The GRADE quality of evidence for the use of CSII in adults with type 2 diabetes is, therefore, low and any estimate of effect is uncertain.
GRADE Quality Assessment for CSII pumps vs. MDI on HbA1c Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
Inadequate or unknown allocation concealment (all studies); Unblinded assessment (all studies) however lack of blinding due to the nature of the study; ITT not well explained in 1 of 2 studies
Indirect due to lack of generalizability of findings since participants varied with respect to prior treatment regimens and intensive SMBG suggests highly motivated populations used in trials.
Economic Analysis
An economic analysis of CSII pumps was carried out using the Ontario Diabetes Economic Model (ODEM) and has been previously described in the report entitled “Application of the Ontario Diabetes Economic Model (ODEM) to Determine the Cost-effectiveness and Budget Impact of Selected Type 2 Diabetes Interventions in Ontario”, part of the diabetes strategy evidence series. Based on the analysis, CSII pumps are not cost-effective for adults with type 2 diabetes, either for the age 65+ sub-group or for all patients in general. Details of the analysis can be found in the full report.
Conclusions
CSII pumps for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes
There is low quality evidence demonstrating that the efficacy of CSII pumps is not superior to MDI for adult type 2 diabetics.
There were no differences in the number of mild and severe hypoglycemic events in patients on CSII pumps versus MDI.
There are conflicting findings with respect to an improved quality of life for patients using CSII pumps as compared to MDI.
Significant limitations of the literature exist specifically:
All studies sponsored by insulin pump manufacturers
Prior treatment regimens varied
Types of insulins used in study varied (NPH vs. glargine)
Generalizability of studies in question as populations may not reflect eligible patient population in Ontario (participants not necessarily on MDI prior to study initiation, pen used in one study and frequency of SMBG required during study was high suggesting highly motivated participants)
Based on ODEM, insulin pumps are not cost-effective for adults with type 2 diabetes either for the age 65+ sub-group or for all patients in general.
PMCID: PMC3377523  PMID: 23074525
8.  Inflammation, Insulin Resistance, and Diabetes—Mendelian Randomization Using CRP Haplotypes Points Upstream 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(8):e155.
Background
Raised C-reactive protein (CRP) is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. According to the Mendelian randomization method, the association is likely to be causal if genetic variants that affect CRP level are associated with markers of diabetes development and diabetes. Our objective was to examine the nature of the association between CRP phenotype and diabetes development using CRP haplotypes as instrumental variables.
Methods and Findings
We genotyped three tagging SNPs (CRP + 2302G > A; CRP + 1444T > C; CRP + 4899T > G) in the CRP gene and measured serum CRP in 5,274 men and women at mean ages 49 and 61 y (Whitehall II Study). Homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were measured at age 61 y. Diabetes was ascertained by glucose tolerance test and self-report. Common major haplotypes were strongly associated with serum CRP levels, but unrelated to obesity, blood pressure, and socioeconomic position, which may confound the association between CRP and diabetes risk. Serum CRP was associated with these potential confounding factors. After adjustment for age and sex, baseline serum CRP was associated with incident diabetes (hazard ratio = 1.39 [95% confidence interval 1.29–1.51], HOMA-IR, and HbA1c, but the associations were considerably attenuated on adjustment for potential confounding factors. In contrast, CRP haplotypes were not associated with HOMA-IR or HbA1c (p = 0.52–0.92). The associations of CRP with HOMA-IR and HbA1c were all null when examined using instrumental variables analysis, with genetic variants as the instrument for serum CRP. Instrumental variables estimates differed from the directly observed associations (p = 0.007–0.11). Pooled analysis of CRP haplotypes and diabetes in Whitehall II and Northwick Park Heart Study II produced null findings (p = 0.25–0.88). Analyses based on the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (1,923 diabetes cases, 2,932 controls) using three SNPs in tight linkage disequilibrium with our tagging SNPs also demonstrated null associations.
Conclusions
Observed associations between serum CRP and insulin resistance, glycemia, and diabetes are likely to be noncausal. Inflammation may play a causal role via upstream effectors rather than the downstream marker CRP.
Using a Mendelian randomization approach, Eric Brunner and colleagues show that the associations between serum C-reactive protein and insulin resistance, glycemia, and diabetes are likely to be noncausal.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Diabetes—a common, long-term (chronic) disease that causes heart, kidney, nerve, and eye problems and shortens life expectancy—is characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. In people without diabetes, blood sugar levels are controlled by the hormone insulin. Insulin is released by the pancreas after eating and “instructs” insulin-responsive muscle and fat cells to take up the glucose from the bloodstream that is produced by the digestion of food. In the early stages of type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes), the muscle and fat cells become nonresponsive to insulin (a condition called insulin resistance), and blood sugar levels increase. The pancreas responds by making more insulin—people with insulin resistance have high blood levels of both insulin and glucose. Eventually, however, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas start to malfunction, insulin secretion decreases, and frank diabetes develops.
Why Was This Study Done?
Globally, about 200 million people have diabetes, but experts believe this number will double by 2030. Ways to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes are, therefore, urgently needed. One major risk factor for insulin resistance and diabetes is being overweight. According to one theory, increased body fat causes mild, chronic tissue inflammation, which leads to insulin resistance. Consistent with this idea, people with higher than normal amounts of the inflammatory protein C-reactive protein (CRP) in their blood have a high risk of developing diabetes. If inflammation does cause diabetes, then drugs that inhibit CRP might prevent diabetes. However, simply measuring CRP and determining whether the people with high levels develop diabetes cannot prove that CRP causes diabetes. Those people with high blood levels of CRP might have other unknown factors in common (confounding factors) that are the real causes of diabetes. In this study, the researchers use “Mendelian randomization” to examine whether increased blood CRP causes diabetes. Some variants of CRP (the gene that encodes CRP) increase the amount of CRP in the blood. Because these variants are inherited randomly, there is no likelihood of confounding factors, and an association between these variants and the development of insulin resistance and diabetes indicates, therefore, that increased CRP levels cause diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers measured blood CRP levels in more than 5,000 people enrolled in the Whitehall II study, which is investigating factors that affect disease development. They also used the “homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance” (HOMA-IR) method to estimate insulin sensitivity from blood glucose and insulin measurements, and measured levels of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c, hemoglobin with sugar attached—a measure of long-term blood sugar control) in these people. Finally, they looked at three “single polynucleotide polymorphisms” (SNPs, single nucleotide changes in a gene's DNA sequence; combinations of SNPs that are inherited as a block are called haplotypes) in CRP in each study participant. Common haplotypes of CRP were related to blood serum CRP levels and, as previously reported, increased blood CRP levels were associated with diabetes and with HOMA-IR and HbA1c values indicative of insulin resistance and poor blood sugar control, respectively. By contrast, CRP haplotypes were not related to HOMA-IR or HbA1c values. Similarly, pooled analysis of CRP haplotypes and diabetes in Whitehall II and another large study on health determinants (the Northwick Park Heart Study II) showed no association between CRP variants and diabetes risk. Finally, data from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium also showed no association between CRP haplotypes and diabetes risk.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Together, these findings suggest that increased blood CRP levels are not responsible for the development of insulin resistance or diabetes, at least in European populations. It may be that there is a causal relationship between CRP levels and diabetes risk in other ethnic populations—further Mendelian randomization studies are needed to discover whether this is the case. For now, though, these findings suggest that drugs targeted against CRP are unlikely to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. However, they do not discount the possibility that proteins involved earlier in the inflammatory process might cause diabetes and might thus represent good drug targets for diabetes prevention.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050155.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Bernard Keavney
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia provides information about diabetes and about C-reactive protein (in English and Spanish)
US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides patient information on all aspects of diabetes, including information on insulin resistance (in English and Spanish)
The International Diabetes Federation provides information about diabetes, including information on the global diabetes epidemic
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for the public and professionals on all aspects of diabetes (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has a page on Mendelian randomization (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050155
PMCID: PMC2504484  PMID: 18700811
9.  Embryonic Pig Pancreatic Tissue Transplantation for the Treatment of Diabetes 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(7):e215.
Background
Transplantation of embryonic pig pancreatic tissue as a source of insulin has been suggested for the cure of diabetes. However, previous limited clinical trials failed in their attempts to treat diabetic patients by transplantation of advanced gestational age porcine embryonic pancreas. In the present study we examined growth potential, functionality, and immunogenicity of pig embryonic pancreatic tissue harvested at different gestational ages.
Methods and Findings
Implantation of embryonic pig pancreatic tissues of different gestational ages in SCID mice reveals that embryonic day 42 (E42) pig pancreas can enable a massive growth of pig islets for prolonged periods and restore normoglycemia in diabetic mice. Furthermore, both direct and indirect T cell rejection responses to the xenogeneic tissue demonstrated that E42 tissue, in comparison to E56 or later embryonic tissues, exhibits markedly reduced immunogenicity. Finally, fully immunocompetent diabetic mice grafted with the E42 pig pancreatic tissue and treated with an immunosuppression protocol comprising CTLA4-Ig and anti–CD40 ligand (anti-CD40L) attained normal blood glucose levels, eliminating the need for insulin.
Conclusions
These results emphasize the importance of selecting embryonic tissue of the correct gestational age for optimal growth and function and for reduced immunogenicity, and provide a proof of principle for the therapeutic potential of E42 embryonic pig pancreatic tissue transplantation in diabetes.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Diabetes is a growing global health problem. By 2030, more than 300 million people around the world will have this chronic, incurable disorder, double the current number. In non-diabetic people, cells in the pancreas called beta cells release insulin, a hormone that controls the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. In diabetics, blood-sugar levels become dangerously high either because the beta cells have been destroyed so no insulin is made (type 1 diabetes, 5%–10% of all cases) or because the cells that normally remove sugar from the blood have become insensitive to insulin (type 2 diabetes). In particularly severe cases of type 2 diabetes, the beta cells also stop releasing insulin. People with type 2 diabetes can usually control their blood-sugar levels through diet and exercise and by taking oral anti-diabetic drugs; people with type 1 diabetes or severe type 2 diabetes have to replace the missing insulin by injections. It is very important that diabetics keep their blood-sugar levels as normal as possible to minimize the disorder's serious long-term complications. These include kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, and an increased risk of heart disease and strokes.
Why Was This Study Done?
While individuals with type 1 diabetes can control their blood-sugar levels pretty well by carefully monitoring their life style and injecting insulin, potentially better control and fewer long-term complications can be achieved by providing a new source of insulin-producing cells through transplantation of pancreatic tissue from a dead human donor. However, because there is not enough human pancreatic tissue to treat all the diabetics who could benefit from such transplants, researchers are investigating other sources of insulin-producing cells. One possibility is pig pancreatic tissue. Glucose control is very similar in pigs and humans, pig insulin injections have been used for years to control diabetes, and pigs are in plentiful supply. However, besides general concerns about xenotransplantation (that is, transplantation from a foreign species such as pigs into humans), early attempts to treat human diabetes by transplantation of pancreatic tissue taken from pig embryos at late stages of gestation were not successful. The researchers involved in this study had done earlier experiments that suggested that the age of the pig donor tissue influences how well transplantation into other species works. They therefore wanted to test whether pancreatic tissue from younger pig embryos might work better for pancreas transplants: they hoped that younger tissue would grow and integrate better with the surrounding host tissue. Additionally, a major concern with all transplantations is whether the transplanted cells or tissue will be recognized as foreign and as such destroyed by the host's immune system. Because tissue from younger embryos is generally less likely to trigger an immune reaction, the researchers hoped that pancreatic tissue from younger pig embryos would be less readily recognized as foreign by the human immune system.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
They started by transplanting pancreatic tissue from pig embryos of different ages into mice with defective immune systems. Tissue taken about a third of the way through gestation (that is, from embryos 42 or 56 days old) grew better than tissue taken earlier or later, secreted more pig insulin over extended periods of time, and was better at maintaining normal blood-sugar levels when the beta cells of the host mice were destroyed. The researchers then examined whether embryonic pig pancreatic tissue of different ages triggered an immune reaction by seeing how well it survived when human immune system cells were also transplanted into the mice. Tissue from 42-day-old embryos came out best in this test too, suggesting that there is little or no “direct” immune reaction by circulating immune cells against pancreatic tissue from this stage. Finally, the researchers transplanted pancreatic tissue of this age into diabetic mice with an intact immune system. These mice rejected the transplants (presumably through an “indirect” immune reaction), but that rejection could be overcome when the recipient mice were treated with drugs that suppressed the part of their immune system that is responsible for these indirect immune reactions. (Human patients who receive a transplant are usually treated with drugs that suppress direct and indirect immune reactions.) When the mice were kept on the drugs, the grafts survived in the long term, and the mice had normal blood-sugar levels once the graft was well established.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results suggest that the exact age of embryonic pig pancreatic tissue influences how well the transplanted tissue grows and integrates into a host from a different species (in this case, the mouse) and how strong an immune reaction it triggers. Overall, these results support the notion that pig embryonic pancreas tissue could potentially be a source of tissue for transplantation into human patients with diabetes. The next steps in exploring this possibility are likely to involve experiments in monkeys to find out how much tissue should be implanted and where, and to check that the transplanted tissue remains functional in these animals. The ability of the 42-day-old embryonic tissue to avoid direct immune rejection also needs to be confirmed. And, ideally, the goal remains to find ways to avoid an immune reaction altogether, so that recipients of transplants do not need to be continually treated with drugs that suppress their immune system (which makes them more susceptible to infections and can have other side effects). Xenotransplantation has potential benefits and risks and remains controversial. Studies like this one and others that seek to better understand the risks and benefits are necessary to allow reasonable decisions to be made.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030215
• MedlinePlus pages on diabetes and on pancreas transplantation
• Information from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Description
• Wikipedia pages on diabetes, xenotransplantation, and pancreas transplantation (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Pancreatic tissue from embryonic pigs co-transplanted with or without human immune cells into immune-deficient mice suggests that the embryonic stage of the pig donor affects the immunogenicity of the graft.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030215
PMCID: PMC1479387  PMID: 16768546
10.  The Gly972→Arg amino acid polymorphism in IRS-1 impairs insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;104(3):357-364.
Recent studies have identified several polymorphisms in the human insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) gene. The most prevalent IRS-1 variant, a Gly→Arg change at the codon 972, has been reported to be increased in prevalence among patients with type 2 diabetes. Carriers of the Arg972 substitution are characterized by lower fasting insulin and C-peptide levels compared with non-carriers, suggesting that the Arg972 IRS-1 variant may contribute to impairment of insulin secretion. In this study, we stably overexpressed both wild-type IRS-1 (RIN-WT) and Arg972 IRS-1 variant (RIN-Arg972) in RIN β cells to investigate directly whether the polymorphism in codon 972 of IRS-1 impairs insulin secretion. The Arg972 IRS-1 variant did not affect expression or function of endogenous IRS-2. RIN-WT showed a marked increase in both glucose- and insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS-1 compared with control RIN cells. The Arg972 IRS-1 variant did not alter the extent of either glucose- or insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of recombinant IRS-1. However, RIN-Arg972 showed a significant decrease in binding of the p85 subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) with IRS-1, compared with RIN-WT. Compared with control RIN cells, insulin content was reduced to the same extent in RIN-WT or RIN-Arg972 at both the protein and mRNA levels. Both glucose- and sulfonylurea-induced insulin secretion was increased in RIN-WT compared with control RIN cells. By contrast, RIN cells expressing Arg972 IRS-1 exhibited a marked decrease in both glucose- and sulfonylurea-stimulated insulin secretion compared with RIN-WT. These data suggest that the insulin signaling pathway involving the IRS-1/PI 3-kinase may play an important role in the insulin secretory process in pancreatic β cells. More importantly, the results suggest that the common Arg972 IRS-1 polymorphism may impair glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, thus contributing to the relative insulin deficiency observed in carriers of this variant.
PMCID: PMC408413  PMID: 10430617
11.  Gut Microbiota Is a Key Modulator of Insulin Resistance in TLR 2 Knockout Mice 
PLoS Biology  2011;9(12):e1001212.
A genetic and pharmacological approach reveals novel insights into how changes in gut microbiota can subvert genetically predetermined phenotypes from lean to obese.
Environmental factors and host genetics interact to control the gut microbiota, which may have a role in the development of obesity and insulin resistance. TLR2-deficient mice, under germ-free conditions, are protected from diet-induced insulin resistance. It is possible that the presence of gut microbiota could reverse the phenotype of an animal, inducing insulin resistance in an animal genetically determined to have increased insulin sensitivity, such as the TLR2 KO mice. In the present study, we investigated the influence of gut microbiota on metabolic parameters, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and signaling of TLR2-deficient mice. We investigated the gut microbiota (by metagenomics), the metabolic characteristics, and insulin signaling in TLR2 knockout (KO) mice in a non-germ free facility. Results showed that the loss of TLR2 in conventionalized mice results in a phenotype reminiscent of metabolic syndrome, characterized by differences in the gut microbiota, with a 3-fold increase in Firmicutes and a slight increase in Bacteroidetes compared with controls. These changes in gut microbiota were accompanied by an increase in LPS absorption, subclinical inflammation, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and later, obesity. In addition, this sequence of events was reproduced in WT mice by microbiota transplantation and was also reversed by antibiotics. At the molecular level the mechanism was unique, with activation of TLR4 associated with ER stress and JNK activation, but no activation of the IKKβ-IκB-NFκB pathway. Our data also showed that in TLR2 KO mice there was a reduction in regulatory T cell in visceral fat, suggesting that this modulation may also contribute to the insulin resistance of these animals. Our results emphasize the role of microbiota in the complex network of molecular and cellular interactions that link genotype to phenotype and have potential implications for common human disorders involving obesity, diabetes, and even other immunological disorders.
Author Summary
An intricate interaction between genetic and environmental factors influences the development of obesity and diabetes. Previous studies have shown that mice lacking an important receptor of the innate immune system, Toll-like Receptor 2 (TLR2), are protected from insulin resistance. Given that the innate immune system has emerged as a key regulator of the gut microbiota, we undertook to investigate in this study whether the gut microbiota have a role in modulating the response to insulin. By rearing these TLR2 mutant mice in conventional facilities (as opposed to “germ-free” conditions) we figured that they would develop an altered gut microbiota. In contrast to previous studies, our results show that these TLR2 mutant mice now develop a diseased phenotype reminiscent of metabolic syndrome, including weight gain, and end up with gut microbiota similar to that found in obese mice and humans. These mice could be rescued by treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics, which decimated the microbiota. Conversely, transplantation of the gut microbiota from these mice to wild-type mice induced weight gain and the metabolic syndrome phenotype. Our results indicate that the gut microbiota per se can subvert a genetically predetermined condition previously described as being protective towards obesity and insulin resistance into a phenotype associated with weight gain and its complications, such as glucose intolerance and diabetes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001212
PMCID: PMC3232200  PMID: 22162948
12.  Mechanisms of Action of GLP-1 in the Pancreas 
Pharmacology & therapeutics  2006;113(3):546-593.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 is a hormone that is encoded in the proglucagon gene. It is mainly produced in enteroendocrine L cells of the gut and is secreted into the blood stream when food containing fat, protein hydrolysate and/or glucose enters the duodenum. Its particular effects on insulin and glucagon secretion have generated a flurry of research activity over the past twenty years culminating in a naturally occurring GLP-1 receptor agonist, exendin-4, now being used to treat type 2 diabetes. GLP-1 engages a specific G-protein coupled receptor that is present in tissues other than the pancreas (brain, kidney, lung, heart, major blood vessels). The most widely studied cell activated by GLP-1 is the insulin-secreting beta cell where its defining action is augmentation of glucose-induced insulin secretion. Upon GLP-1 receptor activation, adenylyl cyclase is activated and cAMP generated, leading, in turn, to cAMP-dependent activation of second messenger pathways, such as the PKA and Epac pathways. As well as short-term effects of enhancing glucose-induced insulin secretion, continuous GLP-1 receptor activation also increases insulin synthesis, and beta cell proliferation and neogenesis. Although these latter effects cannot be currently monitored in humans, there are substantial improvements in glucose tolerance and increases in both first phase and plateau phase insulin secretory responses in type 2 diabetic patients treated with exendin-4. This review we will focus on the effects resulting from GLP-1 receptor activation in islets of Langerhans
doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2006.11.007
PMCID: PMC1934514  PMID: 17306374
GLP-1 receptor; exendin-4; insulin synthesis and secretion; exendin (9-39); beta cell; islet of Langerhans; proliferation; differentiation; cAMP; PKA; Epac; PI3 kinase; FoxO1; IRS2; PDX-1
13.  Aquaporin 7 Is a β-Cell Protein and Regulator of Intraislet Glycerol Content and Glycerol Kinase Activity, β-Cell Mass, and Insulin Production and Secretion▿ † 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(17):6026-6037.
To investigate if intracellular glycerol content plays a role in the regulation of insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells, we studied the expression of the glycerol channels, or aquaglyceroporins, encoded by the aquaporin 3 (Aqp3), Aqp7, and Aqp9 genes in mouse islets. We found expression of Aqp7 only, not that of Aqp3 or Aqp9, in the endocrine pancreas at both the mRNA (by reverse transcription-PCR) and protein (by immunohistochemistry) levels. Immunohistochemistry revealed a complete overlap between insulin and Aqp7 immunostaining in the pancreatic islet. Inactivation of Aqp7 by gene targeting produced viable and healthy mice. Aqp7−/− mice harbored an increased intraislet glycerol concentration with a concomitant increase of the glycerol kinase transcript level and enzyme activity. The islet triglyceride content in the Aqp7−/− mice was also increased compared to that in the Aqp7+/+ mice. Interestingly, Aqp7−/− mice displayed reduced β-cell mass and insulin content but increased insulin-1 and insulin-2 mRNAs. The reduction of β-cell mass in Aqp7−/− mice can be explained at least in part by a reduction in cell proliferation through protein kinase C and the c-myc cascade, with a reduction in the transcript levels of these two genes. Concomitantly, there was a decreased rate of apoptosis, as reflected by terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling and caspase 3 and Bax expression in Aqp7−/− mice. Compared with Aqp7+/+ islets, islets isolated from Aqp7−/− mice secreted insulin at a higher rate under basal low-glucose conditions and on exposure to a high (450 mg/dl) glucose concentration. Aqp7−/− mice exhibited normal fasting blood glucose levels but elevated blood insulin levels. Their plasma glucose response to an intraperitoneal (i.p.) glucose tolerance test was normal, but their plasma insulin concentrations were higher than those of wild-type mice during the 2-h test. An i.p. insulin tolerance test showed similar plasma glucose lowering in Aqp7−/− and Aqp7+/+ mice, with no evidence of insulin resistance. In conclusion, we found that pancreatic β cells express AQP7, which appears to be a key regulator of intraislet glycerol content as well as insulin production and secretion.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00384-07
PMCID: PMC1952143  PMID: 17576812
14.  Induction of insulin secretion in engineered liver cells by nitric oxide 
BMC Physiology  2007;7:11.
Background
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus results from an autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin. The lack of insulin leads to chronic hyperglycemia and secondary complications, such as cardiovascular disease. The currently approved clinical treatments for diabetes mellitus often fail to achieve sustained and optimal glycemic control. Therefore, there is a great interest in the development of surrogate beta cells as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. Normally, pancreatic beta cells produce and secrete insulin only in response to increased blood glucose levels. However in many cases, insulin secretion from non-beta cells engineered to produce insulin occurs in a glucose-independent manner. In the present study we engineered liver cells to produce and secrete insulin and insulin secretion can be stimulated via the nitric oxide pathway.
Results
Expression of either human insulin or the beta cell specific transcription factors PDX-1, NeuroD1 and MafA in the Hepa1-6 cell line or primary liver cells via adenoviral gene transfer, results in production and secretion of insulin. Although, the secretion of insulin is not significantly increased in response to high glucose, treatment of these engineered liver cells with L-arginine stimulates insulin secretion up to three-fold. This L-arginine-mediated insulin release is dependent on the production of nitric oxide.
Conclusion
Liver cells can be engineered to produce insulin and insulin secretion can be induced by treatment with L-arginine via the production of nitric oxide.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-7-11
PMCID: PMC2121102  PMID: 17941991
15.  Regular Breakfast Consumption and Type 2 Diabetes Risk Markers in 9- to 10-Year-Old Children in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE): A Cross-Sectional Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(9):e1001703.
Angela Donin and colleagues evaluated the association between breakfast consumption and composition and risk markers for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in 9- and 10-year-olds.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Regular breakfast consumption may protect against type 2 diabetes risk in adults but little is known about its influence on type 2 diabetes risk markers in children. We investigated the associations between breakfast consumption (frequency and content) and risk markers for type 2 diabetes (particularly insulin resistance and glycaemia) and cardiovascular disease in children.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 4,116 UK primary school children aged 9–10 years. Participants provided information on breakfast frequency, had measurements of body composition, and gave fasting blood samples for measurements of blood lipids, insulin, glucose, and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). A subgroup of 2,004 children also completed a 24-hour dietary recall. Among 4,116 children studied, 3,056 (74%) ate breakfast daily, 450 (11%) most days, 372 (9%) some days, and 238 (6%) not usually. Graded associations between breakfast frequency and risk markers were observed; children who reported not usually having breakfast had higher fasting insulin (percent difference 26.4%, 95% CI 16.6%–37.0%), insulin resistance (percent difference 26.7%, 95% CI 17.0%–37.2%), HbA1c (percent difference 1.2%, 95% CI 0.4%–2.0%), glucose (percent difference 1.0%, 95% CI 0.0%–2.0%), and urate (percent difference 6%, 95% CI 3%–10%) than those who reported having breakfast daily; these differences were little affected by adjustment for adiposity, socioeconomic status, and physical activity levels. When the higher levels of triglyceride, systolic blood pressure, and C-reactive protein for those who usually did not eat breakfast relative to those who ate breakfast daily were adjusted for adiposity, the differences were no longer significant. Children eating a high fibre cereal breakfast had lower insulin resistance than those eating other breakfast types (p for heterogeneity <0.01). Differences in nutrient intakes between breakfast frequency groups did not account for the differences in type 2 diabetes markers.
Conclusions
Children who ate breakfast daily, particularly a high fibre cereal breakfast, had a more favourable type 2 diabetes risk profile. Trials are needed to quantify the protective effect of breakfast on emerging type 2 diabetes risk.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than 380 million people have diabetes, a disorder that is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes) blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin become insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled initially with diet and exercise and with drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas. However, many patients eventually need insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke (cardiovascular disease), reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes. Risk factors for the condition include being over 40 years old and being overweight or obese.
Why Was This Study Done?
Experts predict that by 2035 nearly 600 million people will have diabetes so better strategies to prevent diabetes are urgently needed. Eating breakfast regularly—particularly a high fiber, cereal-based breakfast—has been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (and a reduced risk of being overweight or obese) in adults. However, little is known about whether breakfast eating habits affect markers of type 2 diabetes risk in children. In this cross-sectional study (an observational investigation that studies a group of individuals at a single time point), the researchers examine the associations between breakfast consumption (both frequency and content) and risk markers for type 2 diabetes, particularly insulin resistance and glycemia (the presence of sugar in the blood), in an ethnically mixed population of children; insulin resistance and glycemia measurements in children provide important information about diabetes development later in life.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers invited 9–10 year old children attending 200 schools in London, Birmingham, and Leicester to participate in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE), a study examining risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in children of South Asian, black African-Caribbean, and white European origin. The researchers measured the body composition of the study participants and the levels of insulin, glucose, and other markers of diabetes risk in fasting blood samples (blood taken from the children 8–10 hours after their last meal or drink). All the participants (4,116 children) reported how often they ate breakfast; 2,004 children also completed a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire. Seventy-four percent of the children reported that they ate breakfast every day, 11% and 9% reported that they ate breakfast most days and some days, respectively, whereas 6% reported that they rarely ate breakfast. Children who ate breakfast infrequently had higher fasting insulin levels and higher insulin resistance than children who ate breakfast every day. Moreover, the children who ate a high fiber, cereal-based breakfast had lower insulin resistance than children who ate other types of breakfast such as low fiber or toast-based breakfasts.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that children who ate breakfast every day, particularly those who ate a high fiber breakfast, had lower levels of risk markers for type 2 diabetes than children who rarely ate breakfast. Importantly, the association between eating breakfast and having a favorable type 2 diabetes risk profile remained after allowing for differences in socioeconomic status, physical activity levels, and amount of body fat (adiposity); in observational studies, it is important to allow for the possibility that individuals who share a measured characteristic and a health outcome also share another characteristic (a confounder) that is actually responsible for the outcome. Although trials are needed to establish whether altering the breakfast habits of children can alter their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, these findings are encouraging. Specifically, they suggest that if all the children in England who do not eat breakfast daily could be encouraged to do so, it might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by about 4%. Moreover, encouraging children to eat a high fiber breakfast instead of a low fiber breakfast might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by 11%–12%. Thus, persuading children to eat a high fiber breakfast regularly could be an important component in diabetes preventative strategies in England and potentially worldwide.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001703.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals, and the general public, including detailed information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and about living with diabetes; it also provides people's stories about diabetes; Change4Life, a UK campaign that provides tips for healthy living, has a webpage about the importance of a healthy breakfast
The charity Diabetes UK provides detailed information for patients and carers in several languages, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes
The UK-based non-profit organization Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
Kidshealth, a US-based not-for-profit organization provides information for parents about the importance of breakfast and information for children
More information about the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE) is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001703
PMCID: PMC4151989  PMID: 25181492
16.  Palmitate Impairs and Eicosapentaenoate Restores Insulin Secretion Through Regulation of SREBP-1c in Pancreatic Islets 
Diabetes  2008;57(9):2382-2392.
OBJECTIVE—Chronic exposure to fatty acids causes β-cell failure, often referred to as lipotoxicity. We investigated its mechanisms, focusing on contribution of SREBP-1c, a key transcription factor for lipogenesis.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We studied in vitro and in vivo effects of saturated and polyunsaturated acids on insulin secretion, insulin signaling, and expression of genes involved in β-cell functions. Pancreatic islets isolated from C57BL/6 control and SREBP-1–null mice and adenoviral gene delivery or knockdown systems of related genes were used.
RESULTS—Incubation of C57BL/6 islets with palmitate caused inhibition of both glucose- and potassium-stimulated insulin secretion, but addition of eicosapentaenoate (EPA) restored both inhibitions. Concomitantly, palmitate activated and EPA abolished both mRNA and nuclear protein of SREBP-1c, accompanied by reciprocal changes of SREBP-1c target genes such as insulin receptor substrate-2 (IRS-2) and granuphilin. These palmitate-EPA effects on insulin secretion were abolished in SREBP-1–null islets. Suppression of IRS-2/Akt pathway could be a part of the downstream mechanism for the SREBP-1c–mediated insulin secretion defect because adenoviral constitutively active Akt compensated it. Uncoupling protein-2 (UCP-2) also plays a crucial role in the palmitate inhibition of insulin secretion, as confirmed by knockdown experiments, but SREBP-1c contribution to UCP-2 regulation was partial. The palmitate-EPA regulation of insulin secretion was similarly observed in islets from C57BL/6 mice pretreated with dietary manipulations. Furthermore, administration of EPA to diabetic KK-Ay mice ameliorated impairment of insulin secretion in their islets.
CONCLUSIONS—SREBP-1c plays a dominant role in palmitate-mediated insulin secretion defect, and EPA prevents it through SREBP-1c inhibition, implicating a therapeutic potential for treating diabetes related to lipotoxicity.
doi:10.2337/db06-1806
PMCID: PMC2518489  PMID: 18458149
17.  Expansion and conversion of human pancreatic ductal cells into insulin-secreting endocrine cells 
eLife  2013;2:e00940.
Pancreatic islet β-cell insufficiency underlies pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus; thus, functional β-cell replacement from renewable sources is the focus of intensive worldwide effort. However, in vitro production of progeny that secrete insulin in response to physiological cues from primary human cells has proven elusive. Here we describe fractionation, expansion and conversion of primary adult human pancreatic ductal cells into progeny resembling native β-cells. FACS-sorted adult human ductal cells clonally expanded as spheres in culture, while retaining ductal characteristics. Expression of the cardinal islet developmental regulators Neurog3, MafA, Pdx1 and Pax6 converted exocrine duct cells into endocrine progeny with hallmark β-cell properties, including the ability to synthesize, process and store insulin, and secrete it in response to glucose or other depolarizing stimuli. These studies provide evidence that genetic reprogramming of expandable human pancreatic cells with defined factors may serve as a general strategy for islet replacement in diabetes.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00940.001
eLife digest
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that can lead to dangerously high blood sugar levels, causing numerous complications such as heart disease, glaucoma, skin disorders, kidney disease, and nerve damage. In healthy individuals, beta cells in the pancreas produce a hormone called insulin, which stimulates cells in the liver, muscles and fat to take up glucose from the blood. However, this process is disrupted in people with diabetes, who either have too few pancreatic beta cells (type 1 diabetes) or do not respond appropriately to insulin (type 2 diabetes).
All patients with type 1 diabetes, and some with type 2, must inject themselves regularly with insulin, but this does not always fully control the disease. Some type 1 patients have been successfully treated with beta cells transplanted from deceased donors, but there are not enough donor organs available for this to become routine. Thus, intensive efforts worldwide are focused on generating insulin-producing cells in the lab from human stem cells. However, the cells produced in this way can give rise to tumors.
Now, Lee et al. have shown that duct cells, which make up about 30% of the human pancreas, can be converted into cells capable of producing and secreting insulin. Ductal cells obtained from donor pancreases were first separated from the remaining tissue and grown in cell culture. Viruses were then used to introduce genes that reprogrammed the ductal cells so that they acquired the ability to make, process and store insulin, and to release it in response to glucose—hallmark features of functional beta cells.
As well as providing a potential source of cells for use in transplant or cell conversion therapies for diabetes, the ability to grow and maintain human pancreatic ductal cells in culture may make it easier to study other diseases that affect the pancreas, including pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, and adenocarcinoma.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00940.002
doi:10.7554/eLife.00940
PMCID: PMC3826580  PMID: 24252877
diabetes; islet; pancreas; beta-cells; insulin; conversion; Human
18.  Targeted Disruption of Pancreatic-Derived Factor (PANDER, FAM3B) Impairs Pancreatic β-Cell Function 
Diabetes  2010;59(9):2209-2218.
OBJECTIVE
Pancreatic-derived factor (PANDER, FAM3B) is a pancreatic islet-specific cytokine-like protein that is secreted from β-cells upon glucose stimulation. The biological function of PANDER is unknown, and to address this we generated and characterized a PANDER knockout mouse.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
To generate the PANDER knockout mouse, the PANDER gene was disrupted and its expression was inhibited by homologous recombination via replacement of the first two exons, secretion signal peptide and transcriptional start site, with the neomycin gene. PANDER−/− mice were then phenotyped by a number of in vitro and in vivo tests to evaluate potential effects on glucose regulation, insulin sensitivity, and β-cell morphology and function.
RESULTS
Glucose tolerance tests demonstrated significantly higher blood glucose levels in PANDER−/− versus wild-type male mice. To identify the mechanism of the glucose intolerance, insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β-cell function were examined. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps and insulin tolerance testing showed similar insulin sensitivity for both the PANDER−/− and wild-type mice. The in vivo insulin response following intraperitoneal glucose injection surprisingly produced significantly higher insulin levels in the PANDER−/− mice, whereas insulin release was blunted with arginine administration. Islet perifusion and calcium imaging studies showed abnormal responses of the PANDER−/− islets to glucose stimulation. In contrast, neither islet architecture nor insulin content was impacted by the loss of PANDER. Interestingly, the elevated insulin levels identified in vivo were attributed to decreased hepatic insulin clearance in the PANDER−/− islets. Taken together, these results demonstrated decreased pancreatic β-cell function in the PANDER−/− mouse.
CONCLUSIONS
These results support a potential role of PANDER in the pancreatic β-cell for regulation or facilitation of insulin secretion.
doi:10.2337/db09-1552
PMCID: PMC2927943  PMID: 20566664
19.  Macrosomia and Hyperinsulinaemic Hypoglycaemia in Patients with Heterozygous Mutations in the HNF4A Gene 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(4):e118.
Background
Macrosomia is associated with considerable neonatal and maternal morbidity. Factors that predict macrosomia are poorly understood. The increased rate of macrosomia in the offspring of pregnant women with diabetes and in congenital hyperinsulinaemia is mediated by increased foetal insulin secretion. We assessed the in utero and neonatal role of two key regulators of pancreatic insulin secretion by studying birthweight and the incidence of neonatal hypoglycaemia in patients with heterozygous mutations in the maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) genes HNF4A (encoding HNF-4α) and HNF1A/TCF1 (encoding HNF-1α), and the effect of pancreatic deletion of Hnf4a on foetal and neonatal insulin secretion in mice.
Methods and Findings
We examined birthweight and hypoglycaemia in 108 patients from families with diabetes due to HNF4A mutations, and 134 patients from families with HNF1A mutations. Birthweight was increased by a median of 790 g in HNF4A-mutation carriers compared to non-mutation family members (p < 0.001); 56% (30/54) of HNF4A-mutation carriers were macrosomic compared with 13% (7/54) of non-mutation family members (p < 0.001). Transient hypoglycaemia was reported in 8/54 infants with heterozygous HNF4A mutations, but was reported in none of 54 non-mutation carriers (p = 0.003). There was documented hyperinsulinaemia in three cases. Birthweight and prevalence of neonatal hypoglycaemia were not increased in HNF1A-mutation carriers. Mice with pancreatic β-cell deletion of Hnf4a had hyperinsulinaemia in utero and hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia at birth.
Conclusions
HNF4A mutations are associated with a considerable increase in birthweight and macrosomia, and are a novel cause of neonatal hypoglycaemia. This study establishes a key role for HNF4A in determining foetal birthweight, and uncovers an unanticipated feature of the natural history of HNF4A-deficient diabetes, with hyperinsulinaemia at birth evolving to decreased insulin secretion and diabetes later in life.
HNF4A mutations were found to be associated with a considerable increase in birthweight and macrosomia, and were a cause of neonatal hypoglycaemia.
Editors' Summary
Background.
MODY, or maturity-onset diabetes of the young, is a particular subtype of diabetes; only a few percent of people with diabetes are thought to have this subtype. The condition comes about as a result of a mutation in one of six genes. Generally, people with MODY have high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood, and the typical symptoms of diabetes, such as increased thirst and urination, typically develop when the person is below the age of 25 y. Two of the genes that are known to cause MODY are mutant forms of HNF4A and HNF1A. The proteins that are encoded by these two genes control insulin levels produced by the pancreas; when these genes are mutated, not enough insulin is produced. Without enough insulin to control blood sugar, levels rise, leading to the symptoms of diabetes. However, MODY can be managed by many of the same interventions as other types of diabetes, such as diet, exercise, drug treatments, and insulin injections.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the evidence shows that individuals who carry mutations in HNF4A and HNF1A do not produce enough insulin and therefore have higher glucose levels in their blood, there were some tantalizing suggestions from mouse experiments that this might not be the whole story. Specifically, the researchers suspected that during embryonic development, mutations in HNF4A or HNF1A might actually cause higher insulin levels. Too much insulin during development of a fetus is known to cause it to gain weight, resulting in a baby that is larger than the average size for its age. Larger babies are risky for both the baby and the mother. The researchers doing this study wanted to understand more precisely what the links were between the forms of MODY caused by HNF4A and HNF1A mutations, and birth-weight and blood-sugar levels.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In this study, the researchers examined 15 families in which some family members had MODY caused by a mutation in HNF4A. They compared the birthweight for family members carrying the mutation (54 people) against the birthweight for those who did not (54 people). A similar comparison was done for 38 families in which some members had a different form of MODY, this time caused by a mutation in HNF1A. The results showed that the birthweight of family members who carried a mutation in HNF4A was, on average, 790 g higher than the birthweight of family members who didn't carry the mutation. Low blood-sugar levels at birth were also more common in people carrying the HNF4A mutation as compared to people who did not. However, the HNF1A mutation did not seem to be associated with greater birthweight or low blood-sugar levels at birth. Finally, in order to understand these findings further, the researchers created embryonic mice carrying mutations in the mouse equivalent of HNF4A. These embryos produced more insulin than normal mouse embryos and, after birth, were more likely to have low blood-sugar levels.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that there is a link between mutations in HNF4A, but not in HNF1A, and increased birthweight. The increase found in this study is quite substantial (a median weight of 4,660 g in the affected babies; a birthweight of more than 4,000 g is generally considered large). The results suggest that in human embryos with a mutated form of HNF4A, too much insulin is produced during development, causing faster growth and a higher chance of the baby being born with low blood-sugar levels. This is an unexpected finding, because later in life the HNF4A mutation causes lower insulin levels. Therefore, the biochemical pathways causing this type of MODY seem to be quite complicated, and further research will need to be done to fully understand them. Crucially, the research also suggests that pregnant women carrying HNF4A mutations should be closely followed to check their baby's growth and minimize the chance of complications. Doctors and families should also consider doing a genetic test for HNF4A if a baby has low blood-sugar levels and if there is a family history of diabetes; this would increase the chance of diagnosing MODY early.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed 0040118.
In a related Perspective in PLoS Medicine, Benjamin Glaser discusses causes of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the context of this study's findings
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has pages of information on different types of diabetes
Wikipedia has an entry on Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) (note that Wikipedia is an internet encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Diabetes Research Department, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, UK provides information for patients and doctors on genetic types of diabetes; the website is maintained by the research group carrying out this study
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on diabetes and pregnancy
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040118
PMCID: PMC1845156  PMID: 17407387
20.  CNX-011-67, a novel GPR40 agonist, enhances glucose responsiveness, insulin secretion and islet insulin content in n-STZ rats and in islets from type 2 diabetic patients 
Background
GPR40 is a G-protein coupled receptor regulating free fatty acid induced and also glucose induced insulin secretion. We generated neonatally-streptozotocin-treated female rats (n-STZ) and treated them with CNX-011-67, a GPR40 agonist to examine the role of GPR40 in modulation of glucose metabolism, insulin secretion and content.
Methods
Female n-STZ animals were orally administered with CNX-011-67 (15 mg/kg body weight, twice daily) or with vehicle for 8 weeks (n = 8 per group). Glucose tolerance in treated animals and insulin secretion, islet insulin content and gene expression in isolated islets were determined. Islets from type 2 diabetic mellitus (T2DM) patients were treated with different concentrations of glucose in presence or absence of CNX-011-67 and insulin secretion was measured.
Results
Treatment of n-STZ rats with GPR40 agonist CNX-011-67 enhanced insulin secretion in response to oral glucose load on day 0 and this response persisted during the treatment period. The treatment also produced a ‘memory effect’ during which insulin secretion in response to oral glucose load remained enhanced, for a week, even in absence of the agonist. Activation of GPR40 enhanced responsiveness of islets to glucose and increased glucose induced insulin secretion and islet insulin content. An increase in islet mRNA expression of GCK, PDX1, insulin and PC was also observed. Acute treatment of islets from n-STZ rats with GPR40 agonist enhanced cellular ATP content. Activation of GPR40 enhanced mitochondrial calcium level in NIT-1 insulinoma cells. CNX-011-67 increased insulin secretion in islets from T2DM patients which were non-responsive to increased glucose concentration
Conclusions
Our data provide evidence that activation of GPR40 with CNX-011-67 stimulates glucose metabolism, enhances glucose responsiveness, increases insulin secretion and content and that pharmacological activation of GPR40 will prove beneficial for treatment of T2DM.
doi:10.1186/2050-6511-15-19
PMCID: PMC3994293  PMID: 24666736
β-cells; CNX-011-67; Glucose stimulated insulin secretion; GPR40; Neonatal streptozotocin; Type 2 Diabetes mellitus; Islet insulin content
21.  An siRNA Screen in Pancreatic Beta Cells Reveals a Role for Gpr27 in Insulin Production 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(1):e1002449.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the United States is projected to double or triple by 2050. We reasoned that the genes that modulate insulin production might be new targets for diabetes therapeutics. Therefore, we developed an siRNA screening system to identify genes important for the activity of the insulin promoter in beta cells. We created a subclone of the MIN6 mouse pancreatic beta cell line that expresses destabilized GFP under the control of a 362 base pair fragment of the human insulin promoter and the mCherry red fluorescent protein under the control of the constitutively active rous sarcoma virus promoter. The ratio of the GFP to mCherry fluorescence of a cell indicates its insulin promoter activity. As G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) have emerged as novel targets for diabetes therapies, we used this cell line to screen an siRNA library targeting all known mouse GPCRs. We identified several known GPCR regulators of insulin secretion as regulators of the insulin promoter. One of the top positive regulators was Gpr27, an orphan GPCR with no known role in beta cell function. We show that knockdown of Gpr27 reduces endogenous mouse insulin promoter activity and glucose stimulated insulin secretion. Furthermore, we show that Pdx1 is important for Gpr27's effect on the insulin promoter and insulin secretion. Finally, the over-expression of Gpr27 in 293T cells increases inositol phosphate levels, while knockdown of Gpr27 in MIN6 cells reduces inositol phosphate levels, suggesting this orphan GPCR might couple to Gq/11. In summary, we demonstrate a MIN6-based siRNA screening system that allows rapid identification of novel positive and negative regulators of the insulin promoter. Using this system, we identify Gpr27 as a positive regulator of insulin production.
Author Summary
Pancreatic beta cells are the only physiologic source of insulin. When these cells are destroyed in type 1 diabetics, there is uncontrolled hyperglycemia from complete insulin deficiency. In type 2 diabetes, these same cells fail to increase insulin secretion to compensate for peripheral insulin resistance leading to relative insulin deficiency. We constructed a novel screening system to find new regulators of insulin production in this critical cell type. Here, we describe a screen of the G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and show a role for orphan GPCR, Gpr27, in insulin promoter activity and insulin secretion. We propose that Gpr27 is a novel target for diabetes therapeutics.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002449
PMCID: PMC3257298  PMID: 22253604
22.  Pleiotropic Effects of GIP on Islet Function Involve Osteopontin 
Diabetes  2011;60(9):2424-2433.
OBJECTIVE
The incretin hormone GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) promotes pancreatic β-cell function by potentiating insulin secretion and β-cell proliferation. Recently, a combined analysis of several genome-wide association studies (Meta-analysis of Glucose and Insulin-Related Traits Consortium [MAGIC]) showed association to postprandial insulin at the GIP receptor (GIPR) locus. Here we explored mechanisms that could explain the protective effects of GIP on islet function.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Associations of GIPR rs10423928 with metabolic and anthropometric phenotypes in both nondiabetic (N = 53,730) and type 2 diabetic individuals (N = 2,731) were explored by combining data from 11 studies. Insulin secretion was measured both in vivo in nondiabetic subjects and in vitro in islets from cadaver donors. Insulin secretion was also measured in response to exogenous GIP. The in vitro measurements included protein and gene expression as well as measurements of β-cell viability and proliferation.
RESULTS
The A allele of GIPR rs10423928 was associated with impaired glucose- and GIP-stimulated insulin secretion and a decrease in BMI, lean body mass, and waist circumference. The decrease in BMI almost completely neutralized the effect of impaired insulin secretion on risk of type 2 diabetes. Expression of GIPR mRNA was decreased in human islets from carriers of the A allele or patients with type 2 diabetes. GIP stimulated osteopontin (OPN) mRNA and protein expression. OPN expression was lower in carriers of the A allele. Both GIP and OPN prevented cytokine-induced reduction in cell viability (apoptosis). In addition, OPN stimulated cell proliferation in insulin-secreting cells.
CONCLUSIONS
These findings support β-cell proliferative and antiapoptotic roles for GIP in addition to its action as an incretin hormone. Identification of a link between GIP and OPN may shed new light on the role of GIP in preservation of functional β-cell mass in humans.
doi:10.2337/db10-1532
PMCID: PMC3161325  PMID: 21810601
23.  Reprogramming of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells into functional insulin-producing cells by chemical regimen 
American Journal of Stem Cells  2012;1(2):128-137.
Beta-cell transplantation is considered to be the most effective approach to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D). Unfortunately, the scarce availability of donor tissue limits the applicability of this therapy. Recent stem cell research progress shows stem cell therapy may be a potential means to solve this problem. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are self-renewable and multipotent adult stem cells which can differentiate into the three germ layers. Here we aimed to investigate whether MSCs could be reprogrammed into insulin-producing cells (IPCs). We isolated and characterized MSCs obtained from rat bone marrow. Then MSCs were induced to transdifferentiate into IPCs under specific conditions containing high concentrations of glucose, activin A, all-trans retinoic acid, and other maturation factors. The induced cells expressed multiple genes related to pancreatic beta-cell development and function, such as insulin1, glucagon, Pdx1, Pax6, and Glut-2. Insulin1 and C-peptide production were identified by immunocytochemistry. In vitro glucose challenge studies showed the induced cells secreted insulin in a glucose-dependent manner, as do normal pancreatic beta-cells. Transplantation of these MSC-derived insulin-positive cells could reverse the hyperglycemia of streptozotcin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. These results demonstrated that MSCs could be reprogrammed into IPCs and might be a potential autologous cell source for transplantation therapy of T1D.
PMCID: PMC3636740  PMID: 23671804
Reprogramming; bone marrow; mesenchymal stem cells; insulin-producing cells
24.  PDX1-engineered embryonic stem cell-derived insulin producing cells regulate hyperglycemia in diabetic mice 
Background
Type 1 diabetes can be treated by the transplantation of cadaveric whole pancreata or isolated pancreatic islets. However, this form of treatment is hampered by the chronic shortage of cadaveric donors. Embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived insulin producing cells (IPCs) offer a potentially novel source of unlimited cells for transplantation to treat type 1 and possibly type 2 diabetes. However, thus far, the lack of a reliable protocol for efficient differentiation of ES cells into IPCs has hindered the clinical exploitation of these cells.
Methods
To efficiently generate IPCs using ES cells, we have developed a double transgenic ES cell line R1Pdx1AcGFP/RIP-Luc that constitutively expresses pancreatic β-cell-specific transcription factor pancreatic and duodenal homeobox gene 1 (Pdx1) as well as rat insulin promoter (RIP) driven luciferase reporter. We have established several protocols for the reproducible differentiation of ES cells into IPCs. The differentiation of ES cells into IPCs was monitored by immunostaining as well as real-time quantitative RT-PCR for pancreatic β-cell-specific markers. Pancreatic β-cell specific RIP became transcriptionally active following the differentiation of ES cells into IPCs and induced the expression of the luciferase reporter. Glucose stimulated insulin secretion by the ES cell-derived IPCs was measured by ELISA. Further, we have investigated the therapeutic efficacy of ES cell-derived IPCs to correct hyperglycemia in syngeneic streptozotocin (STZ)-treated diabetic mice. The long term fate of the transplanted IPCs co-expressing luciferase in syngeneic STZ-induced diabetic mice was monitored by real time noninvasive in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI).
Results
We have recently demonstrated that spontaneous in vivo differentiation of R1Pdx1AcGFP/RIP-Luc ES cell-derived pancreatic endoderm-like cells (PELCs) into IPCs corrects hyperglycemia in diabetic mice. Here, we investigated whether R1Pdx1AcGFP/RIP-Luc ES cells can be efficiently differentiated in vitro into IPCs. Our new data suggest that R1Pdx1AcGFP/RIP-Luc ES cells efficiently differentiate into glucose responsive IPCs. The ES cell differentiation led to pancreatic lineage commitment and expression of pancreatic β cell-specific genes, including Pax4, Pax6, Ngn3, Isl1, insulin 1, insulin 2 and PC2/3. Transplantation of the IPCs under the kidney capsule led to sustained long-term correction of hyperglycemia in diabetic mice. Although these newly generated IPCs effectively rescued hyperglycemic mice, an unexpected result was teratoma formation in 1 out of 12 mice. We attribute the development of the teratoma to the presence of either non-differentiated or partially differentiated stem cells.
Conclusions
Our data show the potential of Pdx1-engineered ES cells to enhance pancreatic lineage commitment and to robustly drive the differentiation of ES cells into glucose responsive IPCs. However, there is an unmet need for eliminating the partially differentiated stem cells.
doi:10.1186/2047-1440-1-19
PMCID: PMC3560994  PMID: 23369186
Bioluminescence imaging; Embryonic stem cells; Diabetes; Differentiation; Hyperglycemia; Insulin producing cells; Luciferase; Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox gene 1; Transplantation; Teratoma
25.  Overexpression of GPR40 in Pancreatic β-Cells Augments Glucose-Stimulated Insulin Secretion and Improves Glucose Tolerance in Normal and Diabetic Mice 
Diabetes  2009;58(5):1067-1076.
OBJECTIVE
GPR40 is a G protein–coupled receptor regulating free fatty acid–induced insulin secretion. We generated transgenic mice overexpressing the hGPR40 gene under control of the mouse insulin II promoter and used them to examine the role of GPR40 in the regulation of insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Normal (C57BL/6J) and diabetic (KK) mice overexpressing the hGPR40 gene under control of the insulin II promoter were generated, and their glucose metabolism and islet function were analyzed.
RESULTS
In comparison with nontransgenic littermates, hGPR40 transgenic mice exhibited improved oral glucose tolerance with an increase in insulin secretion. Although islet morphologic analysis showed no obvious differences between hGPR40 transgenic and nontransgenic mice, isolated islets from hGPR40 transgenic mice had enhanced insulin secretion in response to high glucose (16 mmol/l) compared with those from nontransgenic mice, and they both had similar low glucose (3 mmol/l)-stimulated insulin secretion. In addition, hGPR40 transgenic islets significantly increased insulin secretion against a naturally occurring agonist palmitate in the presence of 11 mmol/l glucose. hGPR40 transgenic mice were also found to be resistant to high-fat diet–induced glucose intolerance, and hGPR40 transgenic mice harboring KK background showed augmented insulin secretion and improved oral glucose tolerance compared with nontransgenic littermates.
CONCLUSIONS
Our results suggest that GPR40 may have a role in regulating glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and plasma glucose levels in vivo and that pharmacological activation of GPR40 may provide a novel insulin secretagogue beneficial for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db08-1233
PMCID: PMC2671040  PMID: 19401434

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