PDX1LOW MAFALOW β-cells contribute to islet function and insulin release

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Authors

Abstract

Transcriptionally mature and immature β-cells co-exist within the adult islet. How such diversity contributes to insulin release remains poorly understood. Here we show that subtle differences in β-cell maturity, defined using PDX1 and MAFA expression, contribute to islet operation. Functional mapping of rodent and human islets containing proportionally more PDX1HIGH and MAFAHIGH β-cells reveals defects in metabolism, ionic fluxes and insulin secretion. At the transcriptomic level, the presence of increased numbers of PDX1HIGH and MAFAHIGH β-cells leads to dysregulation of gene pathways involved in metabolic processes. Using a chemogenetic disruption strategy, differences in PDX1 and MAFA expression are shown to depend on islet Ca2+ signaling patterns. During metabolic stress, islet function can be restored by redressing the balance between PDX1 and MAFA levels across the β-cell population. Thus, preserving heterogeneity in PDX1 and MAFA expression, and more widely in β-cell maturity, might be important for the maintenance of islet function.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number674
Number of pages19
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jan 2021