The effect of an in utero high fat diet on the expression of transcription factors and glucose sensing in the developing rat pancreas

Cerf, Marlon Eugene (2005-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A high fat diet (HFD) reduces beta-cell mass, impairs glucose signalling and is involved in the development of Type 2 diabetes. Malnutrition during gestation is hypothesized to irreversibly damage beta-cell development. The transcription factors Pdx-1 and Pax 4 are involved in islet cell development. Pdx-1 is reported to regulate expression of GLUT-2, glucokinase (GK) and the insulin gene. Aims The aim of this study is to investigate, in the neonatal and weanling rat, the effect of exposure to a HFD in utero and/or lactation on weight, glucose and insulin concentrations, islet cell development, pancreatic transcription factors and glucose sensing genes. Methods Neonatal and weanling rats were exposed to a maternal HFD for defined periods of gestation and/or lactation. After termination, pups were weighed and glucose and insulin concentrations determined. mRNA expression of Pdx-1, Pax 4, GLUT-2 and GK was quantified by LightCycler PCR. Pancreatic sections were immunostained for insulin and glucagon (islet cell development), and for Pdx-1, GLUT-2 and GK (beta-cell function) followed by image analysis. Results: Exposure to an in utero HFD throughout gestation resulted in hyperglycaemic pups with reduced beta-cell volume and number, Pdx-1 and GK immunoreactivity. In contrast the alpha-cell volume, number and size were augmented in neonates exposed to a HFD throughout gestation. Most weanlings were hyperglycaemic and hypoinsulinaemic. In some weanlings, reduced beta-cell number and beta- and alpha-cell size was observed. Pdx-1 mRNA was overexpressed in weanlings exposed to a maternal HFD for the final week of gestation or throughout both gestation and lactation, but reduced in those only exposed throughout lactation. Pax 4 mRNA was reduced in weanlings exposed to a maternal HFD for the first or final week of gestation, throughout gestation or throughout lactation. In most of the weanlings, GLUT-2 mRNA expression was reduced whereas immunoreactivity for GLUT-2 was increased. Both GK mRNA expression and immunoreactivity were reduced in most of the weanlings. Conclusions • Exposure to an in utero HFD throughout gestation induced hyperglycaemia in neonates. The reduced Pdx-1 expression appears to play a role in the compromised beta-cell development, and concomitant with the reduced GK levels, contributes to the hyperglycaemia in these neonates and may make them susceptible to beta-cell failure. • In most weanlings exposed to a HFD in utero and/or during lactation the hyperglycaemia and hypoinsulinaemia suggest compromised beta-cell function. The GK mRNA expression and immunoreactivity were reduced thereby impairing glycolysis which would result in reduced insulin secretion contributing to the hyperglycaemia. Furthermore, beta-cell development is adversely affected by the HFD in some weanlings. This would contribute to reduced beta-cell function and may eventually result in beta-cell failure. GLUT-2 immunoreactivity was increased in some, suggesting a compensatory adaptative mechanism to restore glucose homeostasis. • A maternal HFD has adverse effects both in neonates and weanlings on beta-cell development, transcription factor and glucose sensing gene expression and induced hyperglycaemia and hypoinsulinaemia in some of the offspring. Ways to ameliorate the HFD-induced attenuation of key beta-cell genes to ensure normal beta-cell function are important for future research in Type 2 diabetes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: ‘n Hoe vet diet (HVD) verminder beta-sel masse, glukose signale en speel ‘n rol in Tipe 2 diabetes. Die hipothese is dat wanvoeding gedurende swangerskap lei tot onomkeerbare betasel beskadiging. Die transkripsiefaktore Pdx-1 en Pax 4 speel rolle in eilandselontwikkeling. Daar is bewyse dat Pdx-1 die uitdrukking van die GLUT-2, glucokinase (GK) en insulin gene reguleer. Doelstelling: Die doel van hierdie studie is om, in die pasgebore en gespeende rot, die effek van ’n HVD in utero en/of laktasie op gewig, glukose en insulin konsentrasies, eilandselontwikkeling, pankreatiese transksripsiefaktore en op glukosewaarnemingsgene te ondersoek. Metodes: Pasgebore en gespeende rotte is vir bepaalde periodes van gestasie en/of laktasie blootgestel aan ’n HVD van die moeder. Na terminase, is kleinjies geweeg en die glukose- en insulienkinsentrasies bepaal. mRNA uitdrukking van Pdx-1, Pax 4, GLUT-2 en GK is geoes met LightCycler PCR. Snitte van die pankreas is gekleur met insulien en glukagon (eilandsontwikkeling) en vir Pdx-1, GLUT-2 en GK (betaselfunksie) gevolg deur beeldanalise. Resultate: Bloodstelling aan ’n in utero HVD regdeur gestasie het hiperglisemie versoorsaak in pasgebore rotte met verlaagde betasel volume en aantal, Pdx-1 en GK immunoreaktiwiteit. In teenstelling daarmee was die alfasel se volume, aantal en grootte verhoog in pasgebore rotte wat regdeur gestasie aan 'n HVD blootgestel was. Meeste van die gespeende rotte was hiperglisemies en hipoinsulinemies. In sommige gespeende rotte, was daar ’n verlaging van betasel hoeveelheid en grootte en in alfasel groote. Oormatige uitdrukking van Pdx-1 mRNA het plaasgevind in speenlinge wat aan ’n HVD van die moeder vir die laaste week van gestasie of regdeur gestasie en laktasie blootgestel was, maar dit was verlaag in die speenlinge wat net tydens laktasie blootgestel was. Pax 4 mRNA was verlaag in speenlinge wat aan ’n HVD van die moeder blootgestel was vir die eerste of laaste week van gestasie, regdeur gestasie of regdeur laktasie. In meeste van die speenlinge is onder-uitdrukking van GLUT-2 mRNA, maar ’n verhoging van GLUT-2 immunoreaktiwiteit gevind. Beide GK mRNA uitdrukking en immunoreaktiwiteit was laer in meeste van die speenlinge. Gevolgtrekkings: • Blootstelling aan ’n in utero HVD regdeur gestasie lei tot hiperglisemie in pasgebore rotte. Die verlaagde Pdx-1 immunoreaktiwiteit speel klaarblyklik ’n rol by die geaffekteerde betaselontwikkeling. Dit, saam met die verlaagde immunoreaktiwiteit vir GK, kan bydra tot die hiperglisemie in hierdie pasgebore rotte. In die meeste van die speenlinge wat aan ’n HVD blootgestel was, dui die hiperglisemie en hipoinsulinemie op geaffekteerde betaselfunksie. Die GK mRNA uitdrukking en immunoreaktiwiteit is verlaag, wat weer glikolise benadeel, en dit sal lei tot verminderde insulienafskeiding wat bydra tot die hiperglisemie. Betaselontwikkeling word voorts negatief beinvloed deur die HVD, wat blyk uit die verlaagde aantal en grootte van betaselle. Dit sal bydra tot verminderde betaselfunksie. Dit kan uiteindelik tot betaselversaking lei. GLUT-2 immunoreaktiwiteit was verhoog in hierdie speenlinge, wat dui op ’n kompenserende aanpassingsmeganisme om glukose homeostase te herstel. ’n HVD van die moeder het ’n negatiewe uitwerking op betaselontwikkeling, transkripsiefaktor en glukosewaarneming geenuitdrukking in beide die pasgebore en gespeende rotte, en geinduseerde hiperglisemie en hipoinsulinemie in sommige kleintjies. Dis belangrik vir toekomstige Tipe 2 diabetes navorsing dat daar na gekyk moet word om die HVD-geinduseerde verlaging van sleutel betaselgene te verbeter vir optimale betaselfunksie.

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