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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2024

Insulin release from isolated cat islets of Langerhans

Strage, Emma M.; Ley, Cecilia; Westermark, Gunilla; Tengholm, Anders

Abstract

Feline diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine disease with increasing prevalence. It shows similarities with human type 2 diabetes and is characterized by insulin resistance and deficient insulin secretion. Moreover, cats and humans belong to the very few species that form amyloid depositions in the pancreatic islets. However, little is known about cat islet function and no studies have addressed insulin secretion from isolated islets ex vivo. The aim of this study was to establish a protocol for isolation of islets of Langerhans from pancreata of cats euthanized due to disease, and to evaluate insulin secretion responses to various physiological and pharmacological stimuli. Collagenase digestion of pancreatic tissue from 13 non-diabetic cats and two cats with diabetic ketoacidosis yielded individual islets surrounded by a layer of exocrine tissue that was reduced after two days in culture. Histological examination showed islet amyloid in pancreatic biopsies from most non-diabetic and in one diabetic cat. Islets from non-diabetic cats cultured at 5.5 mM glucose responded with increased insulin secretion to 16.7 mM glucose, 30 mM K+ and 20 mu M of the sulfonylurea glipizide (2-3 times basal secretion at 3 mM glucose). The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist exendin-4 (100 nM) had no effect under basal conditions but potentiated glucose-triggered insulin release. Only one of nine islet batches from diabetic cats released detectable amounts of insulin, which was enhanced by exendin-4. Culture of islets from non-diabetic cats at 25 mM glucose impaired secretion both in response to glucose and K+ depolarization. In conclusion, we describe a procedure for isolation of islets from cat pancreas biopsies and demonstrate that isolated cat islets secrete insulin in response to glucose and antidiabetic drugs. The study provides a basis for future ex vivo studies of islet function relevant to the understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of feline diabetes.

Keywords

Amyloid; Glucose; Glipizide; Exendin-4; Pancreas; Diabetes

Published in

Domestic Animal Endocrinology
2024, Volume: 87, article number: 106836
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC