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Chronic fructose renders pancreatic β-cells hyper-responsive to glucose-stimulated insulin secretion through extracellular ATP signaling

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Bartley Clarissa, Brun Thierry, Oberhauser Lucie, Grimaldi Mariagrazia, Molica Filippo, Kwak Brenda R., Bosco Domenico, Chanson Marc, Maechler Pierre,
Project Glutamate pathways and metabolic stresses in energy homeostasis
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume (Issue) 317(1)
Page(s) E25 - E41
Title of proceedings American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism
DOI 10.1152/ajpendo.00456.2018


Fructose is widely used as a sweetener in processed food and is also associated with metabolic disorders, such as obesity. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms remain unclear, in particular, regarding the pancreatic β-cell. Here, we investigated the effects of chronic exposure to fructose on the function of insulinoma cells and isolated mouse and human pancreatic islets. Although fructose per se did not acutely stimulate insulin exocytosis, our data show that chronic fructose rendered rodent and human β-cells hyper-responsive to intermediate physiological glucose concentrations. Fructose exposure reduced intracellular ATP levels without affecting mitochondrial function, induced AMP-activated protein kinase activation, and favored ATP release from the β-cells upon acute glucose stimulation. The resulting increase in extracellular ATP, mediated by pannexin1 (Panx1) channels, activated the calcium-mobilizer P2Y purinergic receptors. Immunodetection revealed the presence of both Panx1 channels and P2Y1 receptors in β-cells. Addition of an ectonucleotidase inhibitor or P2Y1 agonists to naïve β-cells potentiated insulin secretion stimulated by intermediate glucose, mimicking the fructose treatment. Conversely, the P2Y1 antagonist and Panx1 inhibitor reversed the effects of fructose, as confirmed using Panx1-null islets and by the clearance of extracellular ATP by apyrase. These results reveal an important function of ATP signaling in pancreatic β-cells mediating fructose-induced hyper-responsiveness.