Pancreatic islets exhibit dysregulated adaptation of insulin secretion after chronic epinephrine exposure

Rui Li, Huichai Huang, Sean W. Limesand, Xiaochuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Chronic adrenergic stimulation is the dominant factor in impairment of the β-cell function. Sustained adrenergic exposure generates dysregulated insulin secretion in fetal sheep. Similar results have been shown in Min6 under the elevated epinephrine condition, but impairments after adrenergic removal are still unknown and a high rate of proliferation in Min6 has been ignored. Therefore, we incubated primary rats’ islets with half maximal inhibitory concentrations of epinephrine for three days, then determined their insulin secretion responsiveness and related signals two days after removal of adrenaline via radioimmunoassay and qPCR. Insulin secretion was not different between the exposure group (1.07 ± 0.04 ng/islet/h) and control (1.23 ± 0.17 ng/islet/h), but total islet insulin content after treatment (5.46 ± 0.87 ng/islet/h) was higher than control (3.17 ± 0.22 ng/islet/h, p < 0.05), and the fractional insulin release was 36% (p < 0.05) lower after the treatment. Meanwhile, the mRNA expression of Gαs, Gαz and Gβ1-2 decreased by 42.8% 19.4% and 24.8%, respectively (p < 0.05). Uncoupling protein 2 (Ucp2), sulphonylurea receptor 1 (Sur1) and superoxide dismutase 2 (Sod2) were significantly reduced (38.5%, 23.8% and 53.8%, p < 0.05). Chronic adrenergic exposure could impair insulin responsiveness in primary pancreatic islets. Decreased G proteins and Sur1 expression affect the regulation of insulin secretion. In conclusion, the sustained under-expression of Ucp2 and Sod2 may further change the function of β-cell, which helps to understand the long-term adrenergic adaptation of pancreatic β-cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-250
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Issues in Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Epinephrine
  • G proteins
  • Insulin secretion
  • Sulphonylurea receptor 1
  • Uncoupling protein 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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