Cholecystokinin expression in the β-cell leads to increased β-cell area in aged mice and protects from streptozotocin-induced diabetes and apoptosis

Jeremy Arlin Lavine, Carly R. Kibbe, Mieke Baan, Sirinart Sirinvaravong, Heidi M. Umhoefer, Kimberly A. Engler, Louise M. Meske, Kaitlyn A. Sacotte, Daniel P. Erhardt, Dawn Belt Davis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a peptide hormone produced in the gut and brain with beneficial effects on digestion, satiety, and insulin secretion. CCK is also expressed in pancreatic β-cells, but only in models of obesity and insulin resistance. Whole body deletion of CCK in obese mice leads to reduced β-cell mass expansion and increased apoptosis. We hypothesized that islet-derived CCK is important in protection from β-cell apoptosis. To determine the specific role of β-cell-derived CCK in β-cell mass dynamics, we generated a transgenic mouse that expresses CCK in the β-cell in the lean state (MIP-CCK). Although this transgene contains the human growth hormone minigene, we saw no expression of human growth hormone protein in transgenic islets. We examined the ability of MIPCCK mice to maintain β-cell mass when subjected to apoptotic stress, with advanced age, and after streptozotocin treatment. Aged MIP-CCK mice have increased β-cell area. MIP-CCK mice are resistant to streptozotocin-induced diabetes and exhibit reduced β-cell apoptosis. Directed CCK overexpression in cultured β-cells also protects from cytokineinduced apoptosis. We have identified an important new paracrine/ autocrine effect of CCK in protection of β-cells from apoptotic stress. Understanding the role of β-cell CCK adds to the emerging knowledge of classic gut peptides in intraislet signaling. CCK receptor agonists are being investigated as therapeutics for obesity and diabetes. While these agonists clearly have beneficial effects on body weight and insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues, they may also directly protect β-cells from apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-828
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2015


  • Aging
  • Apoptosis
  • Cholecystokinin
  • Islet
  • Streptozotocin
  • β-cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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