Adiponectin-induced ERK and Akt phosphorylation protects against pancreatic beta cell apoptosis and increases insulin gene expression and secretion

Wijesekara N, etc
J Biol Chem, 2010

The functional impact of adiponectin on pancreatic beta cells is so far poorly understood. Although adiponectin receptors (AdipoR1/2) were identified, their involvement in adiponectin-induced signaling and other molecules involved is not clearly defined. Therefore, we investigated the role of adiponectin in beta cells and the signaling mediators involved. MIN6 beta cells and mouse islets were stimulated with globular (2.5 µg/ml) or full-length (5 µg/ml) adiponectin under serum starvation, and cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, insulin gene expression, and secretion were measured. Lysates were subjected to Western blot analysis to determine phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), Akt, or ERK. Functional significance of signaling was confirmed using dominant negative mutants or pharmacological inhibitors. Participation of AdipoRs was assessed by overexpression or siRNA. Adiponectin failed to activate AMPK after 10 min or 1- and 24-h stimulation. ERK was significantly phosphorylated after 24-h treatment with adiponectin, whereas Akt was activated at all time points examined. 24-h stimulation with adiponectin significantly increased cell viability by decreasing cellular apoptosis, and this was prevented by dominant negative Akt, wortmannin (PI3K inhibitor), and U0126 (MEK inhibitor). Moreover, adiponectin regulated insulin gene expression and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, which was also prevented by wortmannin and U0126 treatment. Interestingly, the data also suggest adiponectin-induced changes in Akt and ERK phosphorylation and caspase-3 may occur independent of the level of AdipoR expression. This study demonstrates a lack of AMPK involvement and implicates Akt and ERK in adiponectin signaling, leading to protection against apoptosis and stimulation of insulin gene expression and secretion in pancreatic beta cells.

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J Biol Chem
University of Toronto