PKA enhances the acute insulin response leading to the restoration of glucose control

Kelly A. Kaihara, Lorna M. Dickson, Johanne H. Ellenbroek, Caitlin M D Orr, Brian T. Layden, Barton Wicksteed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Diabetes arises from insufficient insulin secretion and failure of the β-cell mass to persist and expand. These deficits can be treated with ligands to Gs-coupled G-protein-coupled receptors that raise β-cell cAMP. Here we studied the therapeutic potential of β-cell cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) activity in restoring glucose control usingβ-caPKA mice. PKA activity enhanced the acute insulin response (AIR) to glucose, which is a primary determinant of the efficacy of glucose clearance. Enhanced AIR improved peripheral insulin action, leading to more rapid muscle glucose uptake. In the setting of pre-established glucose intolerance caused by diet-induced insulin resistance or streptozotocinmediated β-cell mass depletion, PKA activation enhanced β-cell secretory function to restore glucose control, primarily through augmentation of the AIR. Enhanced AIR and improved glucose control were maintained through 16 weeks of a high-fat diet and aging to 1 year. Importantly, improved glucose tolerance did not increase the risk for hypoglycemia, nor did it rely upon hyperinsulinemia or β-cell hyperplasia, although PKA activity was protective forβ-cell mass. These data highlight that improving β-cell function through the activation of PKA has a large and underappreciated capacity to restore glucose control with minimal risk for adverse side effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1688-1697
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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