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Kynurenine-3-monooxygenase expression is activated in the pancreatic endocrine cells by diabetes and its blockade improves glucose-stimulated insulin secretion

Liu J, Bailbé D, Raynal S, Carbonne C, Zhen D, Dairou J, Gausseres B, Armanet M, Domet T, Pitasi CL, Movassat J, Lim CK, Guillemin GJ, Autier V, Kergoat M, Portha B
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2022 Jul 29:166509. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2022.166509. Online ahead of print
Type 2 diabetes is associated with an inflammatory phenotype in the pancreatic islets. We previously demonstrated that proinflammatory cytokines potently activate the tryptophan/kynurenine pathway (TKP) in INS-1 cells and in normal rat islets. Here we examined: (1) the TKP enzymes expression in the diabetic GK islets; (2) the TKP enzymes expression profiles in the GK islets before and after the onset of diabetes; (3) The glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in vitro in GK islets after KMO knockdown using specific morpholino-oligonucleotides against KMO or KMO blockade using the specific inhibitor Ro618048; (4) The glucose tolerance and GSIS after acute in vivo exposure to Ro618048 in GK rats. We report a remarkable induction of the kmo gene in GK islets and in human islets exposed to proinflammatory conditions. It occurred prominently in beta cells. The increased expression and activity of KMO reflected an acquired adaptation. Both KMO knockdown and specific inhibitor Ro618048 enhanced GSIS in vitro in GK islets. Moreover, acute administration of Ro618048 in vivo improved glucose tolerance, GSIS and basal blood glucose levels in GK rats. These results demonstrate that targeting islet TKP is able to correct defective GSIS. KMO inhibition could represent a potential therapeutic strategy for type 2 diabetes.
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Organism or Cell Type: 
organ culture: rat GK islets