Either 200 or 400 syngeneic islets were transplanted under the kidney capsule of normal or streptozocin-induced diabetic B6/AF1 mice. The diabetic mice with 400 islets became normoglycemic, but those with 200 islets, an insufficient number, were still diabetic after the transplantation (Tx). Two weeks after Tx, GLUT2 expression in the islet grafts was evaluated by immunofluorescence and Western blots, and graft function was examined by perfusion of the graft-bearing kidney. Immunofluorescence for GLUT2 was dramatically reduced in the β-cells of grafts with 200 islets exposed to hyperglycemia. However, it was plentiful in grafts with 400 islets in a normoglycemic environment. Densitometric analysis of Western blots on graft homogenates demonstrated that GLUT2 protein levels in the islets, when exposed to chronic hyperglycemia for 2 weeks, were decreased to 16% of those of normal recipients. Moreover, these grafts had defective glucose-induced insulin secretion, while the effects of arginine were preserved. We conclude that GLUT2 expression in normal β-cells is promptly down-regulated during exposure to hyperglycemia and may contribute to the loss of glucose-induced secretion of diabetes.

This content is only available via PDF.