Under insulin-resistant conditions such as obesity, pancreatic β-cells proliferate to prevent blood glucose elevations. A liver-brain-pancreas neuronal relay plays an important role in this process. Here, we show the molecular mechanism underlying this compensatory β-cell proliferation. We identify FoxM1 activation in islets from neuronal relay-stimulated mice. Blockade of this relay, including vagotomy, inhibits obesity-induced activation of the β-cell FoxM1 pathway and suppresses β-cell expansion. Inducible β-cell-specific FoxM1 deficiency also blocks compensatory β-cell proliferation. In isolated islets, carbachol and PACAP/VIP synergistically promote β-cell proliferation through a FoxM1-dependent mechanism. These findings indicate that vagal nerves that release several neurotransmitters may allow simultaneous activation of multiple pathways in β-cells selectively, thereby efficiently promoting β-cell proliferation and maintaining glucose homeostasis during obesity development. This neuronal signal-mediated mechanism holds potential for developing novel approaches to regenerating pancreatic β-cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)