Scientific article

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor signaling modulates beta cell apoptosis

Published inThe Journal of biological chemistry, vol. 278, no. 1, p. 471-478
Publication date2003

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) stimulates insulin secretion and augments beta cell mass via activation of beta cell proliferation and islet neogenesis. We examined whether GLP-1 receptor signaling modifies the cellular susceptibility to apoptosis. Mice administered streptozotocin (STZ), an agent known to induce beta cell apoptosis, exhibit sustained improvement in glycemic control and increased levels of plasma insulin with concomitant administration of the GLP-1 agonist exendin-4 (Ex-4). Blood glucose remained significantly lower for weeks after cessation of exendin-4. STZ induced beta cell apoptosis, which was significantly reduced by co-administration of Ex-4. Conversely, mice with a targeted disruption of the GLP-1 receptor gene exhibited increased beta cell apoptosis after STZ administration. Exendin-4 directly reduced cytokine-induced apoptosis in purified rat beta cells exposed to interleukin 1beta, tumor necrosis fator alpha, and interferon gamma in vitro. Furthermore, Ex-4-treated BHK-GLP-1R cells exhibited significantly increased cell viability, reduced caspase activity, and decreased cleavage of beta-catenin after treatment with cycloheximide in vitro. These findings demonstrate that GLP-1 receptor signaling directly modifies the susceptibility to apoptotic injury, and provides a new potential mechanism linking GLP-1 receptor activation to preservation or enhancement of beta cell mass in vivo.

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis/ physiology
  • Blood Glucose/metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival
  • Cricetinae
  • Cycloheximide/pharmacology
  • Cytokines/metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins/metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental
  • Forskolin/pharmacology
  • Glucagon/agonists/ metabolism
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Insulin/blood
  • Islets of Langerhans/drug effects/ physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Peptide Fragments/agonists/ metabolism
  • Peptides/pharmacology
  • Protein Precursors/agonists/ metabolism
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors/pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Glucagon/agonists/genetics/ metabolism
  • Signal Transduction/ physiology
  • Streptozocin/administration & dosage
  • Trans-Activators/metabolism
  • Venoms
  • Beta Catenin
Citation (ISO format)
LI, Yazhou et al. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor signaling modulates beta cell apoptosis. In: The Journal of biological chemistry, 2003, vol. 278, n° 1, p. 471–478. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M209423200
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal0021-9258

Technical informations

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