Scientific article
Open access

Blockade of glucagon signaling prevents or reverses diabetes onset only if residual β-cells persist

Published ineLife, vol. 5
Publication date2016

Glucagon secretion dysregulation in diabetes fosters hyperglycemia. Recent studies report that mice lacking glucagon receptor (Gcgr(-/-)) do not develop diabetes following streptozotocin (STZ)-mediated ablation of insulin-producing β-cells. Here, we show that diabetes prevention in STZ-treated Gcgr(-/-) animals requires remnant insulin action originating from spared residual β-cells: these mice indeed became hyperglycemic after insulin receptor blockade. Accordingly, Gcgr(-/-) mice developed hyperglycemia after induction of a more complete, diphtheria toxin (DT)-induced β-cell loss, a situation of near-absolute insulin deficiency similar to type 1 diabetes. In addition, glucagon deficiency did not impair the natural capacity of α-cells to reprogram into insulin production after extreme β-cell loss. α-to-β-cell conversion was improved in Gcgr(-/-) mice as a consequence of α-cell hyperplasia. Collectively, these results indicate that glucagon antagonism could i) be a useful adjuvant therapy in diabetes only when residual insulin action persists, and ii) help devising future β-cell regeneration therapies relying upon α-cell reprogramming.

Citation (ISO format)
DAMOND, Nicolas et al. Blockade of glucagon signaling prevents or reverses diabetes onset only if residual β-cells persist. In: eLife, 2016, vol. 5. doi: 10.7554/eLife.13828
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2050-084X

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