Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) , caused by the interaction of multiple genes and environmental factors, is characterized by hyperglycemia, insulin secretion deficiency and insulin resistance. Chronic hyperglycemia induces β-cell dysfunction and loss of β-cell mass/identity, increased apoptosis and β-cell dedifferentiation. Intermittent fasting (IF) , either alternate-day fasting (ADF) or time-restricted feeding, commonly used regimens for weight-loss, also induces metabolic benefits including reduced blood glucose, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced adiposity, inflammation and oxidative-stress, and increased fatty-acid oxidation; however, the mechanisms underlying these effects remain elusive. KK and KKAy, mouse models of polygenic T2DM spontaneously develop hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, glucosuria, impaired insulin secretion and insulin resistance. To determine the long-term effects of IF on T2DM, 6-weeks old KK and KKAy mice were subjected to ADF for 16-weeks. While KKAy mice fed ad-libitum demonstrated severe hyperglycemia (˜500mg/dL) , increased plasma insulin, impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance at 8 weeks of age, KK mice showed blood glucose levels of ˜200mg/dL, but progressively became as severely diabetic as KKAy mice by 22-weeks. Strikingly, both KK and KKAy mice subjected to ADF showed reduced blood glucose and plasma insulin levels, decreased body weight gain despite increased food intake, reduced plasma triglycerides and cholesterol, and improved insulin sensitivity. They also demonstrated enhanced expression of the β-cell transcription factors PDX1 and NKX6.1, suggesting protection from loss of β-cell identity/dedifferentiation by IF. In addition, respiratory exchange ratio (RER) and movement were significantly enhanced in the ADF group, indicating peripheral benefits of IF. These results have important implications as an optional intervention for preservation of β-cell mass and function in T2DM.


S.Patel: None. Z.Yan: None. M.S.Remedi: None.


National Institutes of Health (R01DK123163)

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