Faculty Research 1980 - 1989

A new mutation (db3J) at the diabetes locus in strain 129/J mice. II. Studies of pancreatic alpha cell function in culture.

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Animal, Cells-Cultured, Diabetes-Mellitus: fg, Female, Glucagon: bi, se, Insulin: se, Islands-of-Langerhans: pp, pa, Male, Mice, Mutation, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

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Diabetologia. 1980 Jul; 19(1):66-73.


Monolayer cell cultures from pancreatic islets of aging 129/J strain diabetes (db3J/db3J) and lean littermate control mice were tested for differences in glucagon and insulin secretion in either serum-free Eagle's minimal essential medium (MEM) or Dulbecco's modified minimal essential medium (DMEM). There was a highly significant (p less than 0.0001) main effect of genotype and type of culture medium on glucagon secretion with time. Thus, although numbers of A-cells were not demonstrably increased in db3J/db3J cultures in DMEM, mean medium glucagon levels increased 2.7-, 18-, and 32-fold above littermate normal culture levels at days 4, 6, and 8 respectively. In MEM, the two populations could not be discriminated on the basis of glucagon secretion. By contrast, insulin secretion over culture days showed a highly significant (p less than 0.0001) dependence on genotype, but not type of medium, with the B-cell enriched db3J/db3J preparations secreting between 20 and 30 times as much insulin as controls in both medida. Analysis revealed that the heightened secretory responsiveness of mutatn A-cells in DMEM as compared to MEM was primarily elicited by the elevated DMEM amino acid concentration and specifically lysine (0.8 mmol/l in DMEM versus 0.4 mmol/l in MEM). In pulse-chase experiments using 14 day db3J/db3J cultures, incorporation of 3H-tryptophan into protein that eluted from Biogel P-10 columns in the native glucagon peak indicates that DMEM stimulated glucagon biosynthesis as well as secretion. This study reveals an augmented sensitivity of db3J/db3J A-cells to stimulation by basic amino acids in long-term culture.

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