A better understanding of processes controlling the development and function of pancreatic islets is critical for diabetes prevention and treatment. Here, we reveal a previously unappreciated function for pancreatic β2-adrenergic receptors (Adrb2) in controlling glucose homeostasis by restricting islet vascular growth during development. Pancreas-specific deletion of Adrb2 results in glucose intolerance and impaired insulin secretion in mice, and unexpectedly, specifically in females. The metabolic phenotypes were recapitulated by Adrb2 deletion from neonatal, but not adult, b-cells. Mechanistically, Adrb2 loss increases production of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A) in female neonatal b-cells and results in hyper-vascularized islets during development, which in turn, disrupts insulin production and exocytosis. Neonatal correction of islet hyper-vascularization, via VEGF-A receptor blockade, fully rescues functional deficits in glucose homeostasis in adult mutant mice. These findings uncover a regulatory pathway that functions in a sex-specific manner to control glucose metabolism by restraining excessive vascular growth during islet development.
- Rejji Kuruvilla
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All procedures relating to animal care and treatment conformed to The Johns Hopkins University Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) and NIH guidelines. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional ACUC protocols (#MO17A14) of Johns Hopkins University
- Lori Sussel, University of Colorado Denver, United States
© 2018, Ceasrine et al.
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