Subjects with the Q268X mutation in the hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-4alpha gene (RW pedigree/maturity-onset diabetes of the young [MODY]-1) have diminished insulin and glucagon secretory responses to arginine. To determine if pancreatic polypeptide (PP) secretion is likewise involved, we studied PP responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia in 17 RW pedigree members: 6 nondiabetic mutation-negative [ND(-)], 4 nondiabetic mutation-positive [ND(+)], and 7 diabetic mutation-positive [D(+)]. Subjects received 0.08 U/kg body wt human regular insulin as an intravenous bolus to produce moderate self-limited hypoglycemia. PP areas under the curve (PP-AUCs) were compared among groups. With hypoglycemia, the PP-AUC was lower in the D(+) group (14,907 +/- 6,444 pg/ml, P = 0.03) and the ND(+) group (14,622 +/- 6,015 pg/ml, P = 0.04) compared with the ND(-) group (21,120 +/- 4,158 pg/ml). In addition, to determine if the beta-cell secretory defect in response to arginine involves amylin in addition to insulin secretion, we analyzed samples from 17 previously studied RW pedigree subjects. We compared the AUCs during arginine infusions for the 3 groups both at euglycemia and hyperglycemia as well as their C-peptide-to-amylin ratios. The D(+) and ND(+) groups had decreased amylin AUCs during both arginine infusions compared with the ND(-) group, but had similar C-peptide-to-amylin ratios. These results suggest that the HNF-4alpha mutation in the RW/MODY1 pedigree confers a generalized defect in islet cell function involving PP cells in addition to beta- and alpha-cells, and beta-cell impairment involving proportional deficits in insulin and amylin secretion.

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