Expression of Gastrin Family Peptides in Pancreatic Islets and Their Role in β-Cell Function and Survival

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Modulation of cholecystokinin (CCK) receptors has been shown to influence pancreatic endocrine function.


We assessed the impact of the CCKA and CCKB receptor modulators, (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 and gastrin-17, respectively, on β-cell secretory function, proliferation and apoptosis and glucose tolerance, and investigating alterations of CCK and gastrin islet expression in diabetes.


Initially, the presence of CCK and gastrin, and expression of their receptors were evidenced in β-cell lines and mouse islets. (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 and gastrin-17 stimulated insulin secretion from BRIN-BD11 and 1.1B4 β-cells, associated with no effect on membrane potential or [Ca2+]i. Only (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 possessed insulin secretory actions in isolated islets. In agreement, (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 improved glucose disposal and glucose-induced insulin release in mice. In addition, (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 evoked clear satiety effects. Interestingly, islet colocalization of CCK with glucagon was elevated in streptozotocin- and hydrocortisone-induced diabetic mice, whereas gastrin coexpression in α cells was reduced. In contrast, gastrin colocalization within β-cells was higher in diabetic mice, while CCK coexpression with insulin was decreased in insulin-deficient mice. (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 and gastrin-17 also augmented human and rodent β-cell proliferation and offered protection against streptozotocin-induced β-cell cytotoxicity.


We highlight the direct involvement of CCKA and CCKB receptors in pancreatic β-cell function and survival.

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