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Role of vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 in rodent insulin secretion and glucose metabolism revealed by its specific antagonist tetrabenazine.

Authors: Raffo, A  Hancock, K  Polito, T  Xie, Y  Andan, G  Witkowski, P  Hardy, M  Barba, P  Ferrara, C  Maffei, A  Freeby, M  Goland, R  Leibel, RL  Sweet, IR  Harris, PE 
Citation: Raffo A, etal., J Endocrinol. 2008 Jul;198(1):41-9.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:18577569
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1677/JOE-07-0632

Despite different embryological origins, islet beta-cells and neurons share the expression of many genes and display multiple functional similarities. One shared gene product, vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 (VMAT2, also known as SLC18A2), is highly expressed in human beta-cells relative to other cells in the endocrine and exocrine pancreas. Recent reports suggest that the monoamine dopamine is an important paracrine and/or autocrine regulator of insulin release by beta-cells. Given the important role of VMAT2 in the economy of monoamines such as dopamine, we investigated the possible role of VMAT2 in insulin secretion and glucose metabolism. Using a VMAT2-specific antagonist, tetrabenazine (TBZ), we studied glucose homeostasis, insulin secretion both in vivo and ex vivo in cultures of purified rodent islets. During intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests, control rats showed increased serum insulin concentrations and smaller glucose excursions relative to controls after a single intravenous dose of TBZ. One hour following TBZ administration we observed a significant depletion of total pancreas dopamine. Correspondingly, exogenous L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine reversed the effects of TBZ on glucose clearance in vivo. In in vitro studies of rat islets, a significantly enhanced glucose-dependent insulin secretion was observed in the presence of dihydrotetrabenazine, the active metabolite of TBZ. Together, these data suggest that VMAT2 regulates in vivo glucose homeostasis and insulin production, most likely via its role in vesicular transport and storage of monoamines in beta-cells.


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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 2317338
Created: 2010-03-26
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2010-03-26
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.