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1.  Effects of zinc supplementation and zinc chelation on in vitro β-cell function in INS-1E cells 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:84.
Background
Zinc is essential for the activities of pancreatic β-cells, especially insulin storage and secretion. Insulin secretion leads to co-release of zinc which contributes to the paracrine communication in the pancreatic islets. Zinc-transporting proteins (zinc-regulated transporter, iron-regulated transporter-like proteins [ZIPs] and zinc transporters [ZnTs]) and metal-buffering proteins (metallothioneins, MTs) tightly regulate intracellular zinc homeostasis. The present study investigated how modulation of cellular zinc availability affects β-cell function using INS-1E cells.
Results
Using INS-1E cells, we found that zinc supplementation and zinc chelation had significant effects on insulin content and insulin secretion. Supplemental zinc within the physiological concentration range induced insulin secretion. Insulin content was reduced by zinc chelation with N,N,N’,N-tektrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)-ethylenediamine. The changes in intracellular insulin content following exposure to various concentrations of zinc were reflected by changes in the expression patterns of MT-1A, ZnT-8, ZnT-5, and ZnT-3. Furthermore, high zinc concentrations induced cell necrosis while zinc chelation induced apoptosis. Finally, cell proliferation was sensitive to changes in zinc the concentration.
Conclusion
These results indicate that the β-cell-like function and survival of INS-1E cells are dependent on the surrounding zinc concentrations. Our results suggest that regulation of zinc homeostasis could represent a pharmacological target.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-84
PMCID: PMC3923740  PMID: 24502363
Zinc; Insulin; Zinc transporter; Metallothionein; Chelation; TPEN; INS-1E cells; β –cell; Diabetes
2.  Influence of GLP-1 on Myocardial Glucose Metabolism in Healthy Men during Normo- or Hypoglycemia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e83758.
Background and Aims
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) may provide beneficial cardiovascular effects, possibly due to enhanced myocardial energetic efficiency by increasing myocardial glucose uptake (MGU). We assessed the effects of GLP-1 on MGU in healthy subjects during normo- and hypoglycemia.
Materials and Methods
We included eighteen healthy men in two randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over studies. MGU was assessed with GLP-1 or saline infusion during pituitary-pancreatic normo- (plasma glucose (PG): 4.5 mM, n = 10) and hypoglycemic clamps (PG: 3.0 mM, n = 8) by positron emission tomography with 18fluoro-deoxy-glucose (18F-FDG) as tracer.
Results
In the normoglycemia study mean (± SD) age was 25±3 years, and BMI was 22.6±0.6 kg/m2 and in the hypoglycemia study the mean age was 23±2 years with a mean body mass index of 23±2 kg/m2. GLP-1 did not change MGU during normoglycemia (mean (+/− SD) 0.15+/−0.04 and 0.16+/−0.03 µmol/g/min, P = 0.46) or during hypoglycemia (0.16+/−0.03 and 0.13+/−0.04 µmol/g/min, P = 0.14). However, the effect of GLP-1 on MGU was negatively correlated to baseline MGU both during normo- and hypoglycemia, (P = 0.006, r2 = 0.64 and P = 0.018, r2 = 0.64, respectively) and changes in MGU correlated positively with the level of insulin resistance (HOMA 2IR) during hypoglycemia, P = 0.04, r2 = 0.54. GLP-1 mediated an increase in circulating glucagon levels at PG levels below 3.5 mM and increased glucose infusion rates during the hypoglycemia study. No differences in other circulating hormones or metabolites were found.
Conclusions
While GLP-1 does not affect overall MGU, GLP-1 induces changes in MGU dependent on baseline MGU such that GLP-1 increases MGU in subjects with low baseline MGU and decreases MGU in subjects with high baseline MGU. GLP-1 preserves MGU during hypoglycemia in insulin resistant subjects.
ClinicalTrials.gov registration numbers: NCT00418288: (hypoglycemia) and NCT00256256: (normoglycemia).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083758
PMCID: PMC3882300  PMID: 24400077
3.  SLC30A3 Responds to Glucose- and Zinc Variations in ß-Cells and Is Critical for Insulin Production and In Vivo Glucose-Metabolism During ß-Cell Stress 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(5):e5684.
Background
Ion transporters of the Slc30A- (ZnT-) family regulate zinc fluxes into sub-cellular compartments. β-cells depend on zinc for both insulin crystallization and regulation of cell mass.
Methodology/Principal Findings
This study examined: the effect of glucose and zinc chelation on ZnT gene and protein levels and apoptosis in β-cells and pancreatic islets, the effects of ZnT-3 knock-down on insulin secretion in a β-cell line and ZnT-3 knock-out on glucose metabolism in mice during streptozotocin-induced β-cell stress. In INS-1E cells 2 mM glucose down-regulated ZnT-3 and up-regulated ZnT-5 expression relative to 5 mM. 16 mM glucose increased ZnT-3 and decreased ZnT-8 expression. Zinc chelation by DEDTC lowered INS-1E insulin content and insulin expression. Furthermore, zinc depletion increased ZnT-3- and decreased ZnT-8 gene expression whereas the amount of ZnT-3 protein in the cells was decreased. Zinc depletion and high glucose induced apoptosis and necrosis in INS-1E cells. The most responsive zinc transporter, ZnT-3, was investigated further; by immunohistochemistry and western blotting ZnT-3 was demonstrated in INS-1E cells. 44% knock-down of ZnT-3 by siRNA transfection in INS-1E cells decreased insulin expression and secretion. Streptozotocin-treated mice had higher glucose levels after ZnT-3 knock-out, particularly in overt diabetic animals.
Conclusion/Significance
Zinc transporting proteins in β-cells respond to variations in glucose and zinc levels. ZnT-3, which is pivotal in the development of cellular changes as also seen in type 2 diabetes (e.g. amyloidosis in Alzheimer's disease) but not previously described in β-cells, is present in this cell type, up-regulated by glucose in a concentration dependent manner and up-regulated by zinc depletion which by contrast decreased ZnT-3 protein levels. Knock-down of the ZnT-3 gene lowers insulin secretion in vitro and affects in vivo glucose metabolism after streptozotocin treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005684
PMCID: PMC2683566  PMID: 19492079
4.  Zinc transporter gene expression is regulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines: a potential role for zinc transporters in beta-cell apoptosis? 
Background
β-cells are extremely rich in zinc and zinc homeostasis is regulated by zinc transporter proteins. β-cells are sensitive to cytokines, interleukin-1β (IL-1β) has been associated with β-cell dysfunction and -death in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This study explores the regulation of zinc transporters following cytokine exposure.
Methods
The effects of cytokines IL-1β, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) on zinc transporter gene expression were measured in INS-1-cells and rat pancreatic islets. Being the more sensitive transporter, we further explored ZnT8 (Slc30A8): the effect of ZnT8 over expression on cytokine induced apoptosis was investigated as well as expression of the insulin gene and two apoptosis associated genes, BAX and BCL2.
Results
Our results showed a dynamic response of genes responsible for β-cell zinc homeostasis to cytokines: IL-1β down regulated a number of zinc-transporters, most strikingly ZnT8 in both islets and INS-1 cells. The effect was even more pronounced when mixing the cytokines. TNF-α had little effect on zinc transporter expression. IFN-γ down regulated a number of zinc transporters. Insulin expression was down regulated by all cytokines. ZnT8 over expressing cells were more sensitive to IL-1β induced apoptosis whereas no differences were observed with IFN-γ, TNF-α, or a mixture of cytokines.
Conclusion
The zinc transporting system in β-cells is influenced by the exposure to cytokines. Particularly ZnT8, which has been associated with the development of diabetes, seems to be cytokine sensitive.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-9-7
PMCID: PMC2651882  PMID: 19243577

Results 1-4 (4)