Selective estrogen receptor modulation in pancreatic β-cells and the prevention of type 2 diabetes

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Abstract

We recently showed that the female hormone 17β-estradiol (E2) protects against β-cell failure in rodent models of type 2 diabetes (T2D) by suppressing islet fatty acids and glycerolipids synthesis, thus preventing lipotoxic β-cell failure. E2 anti-lipogenic actions were recapitulated by pharmacological activation of the estrogen receptor (ER)a, ERβ and the G-protein coupled ER (GPER) in cultured rodent and human β-cells. In vivo, in mouse islets, ERa activation inhibited β-cell lipogenesis by suppressing fatty acid synthase expression (and activity) via an extranuclear, estrogen response element (ERE)-independent pathway requiring the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3. Here, we show that in INS-1 insulin-secreting cells, the selective ER modulator (SERM), Raloxifene, behaves both as ER antagonist with regard to nuclear EREdependent actions and as an ER agonist with regard to suppressing triglyceride accumulation. This additional finding opens the perspective that SERMs harboring ER agonistic activity in β-cells could have application in postmenopausal prevention of T2D. Additional studies using novel generation SERMs are needed to address this issue.

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