May 7, 2020

A Nutrient-Sensing Transition at Birth Triggers Glucose-Responsive Insulin Secretion

Cell Metabolism
Aharon HelmanDouglas A Melton

Abstract

A drastic transition at birth, from constant maternal nutrient supply in utero to intermittent postnatal feeding, requires changes in the metabolic system of the neonate. Despite their central role in metabolic homeostasis, little is known about how pancreatic β cells adjust to the new nutritional challenge. Here, we find that after birth β cell function shifts from amino acid- to glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in correlation with the change in the nutritional environment. This adaptation is mediated by a transition in nutrient sensitivity of the mTORC1 pathway, which leads to intermittent mTORC1 activity. Disrupting nutrient sensitivity of mTORC1 in mature β cells reverts insulin secretion to a functionally immature state. Finally, manipulating nutrient sensitivity of mTORC1 in stem cell-derived β cells in vitro strongly enhances their glucose-responsive insulin secretion. These results reveal a mechanism by which nutrients regulate β cell function, thereby enabling a metabolic adaptation for the newborn.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Insulin Secretion
Stimulation of Insulin Secretion
Endocrine System
Insulin
Structure of Beta Cell of Islet
Detection of Nutrient
Environment
Nutrients
MTORC1 complex, human
Stem Cells

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