Pancreatic β cells adapt to pregnancy-induced insulin resistance by unclear mechanisms. This study sought to identify genes involved in β cell adaptation during pregnancy. To examine changes in global RNA expression during pregnancy, murine islets were isolated at a time point of increased β cell proliferation (E13.5), and RNA levels were determined by two different assays (global gene expression array and G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) array). Follow-up studies confirmed the findings for select genes. Differential expression of 110 genes was identified and follow-up studies confirmed the changes in select genes at both the RNA and protein level. Surfactant protein D (SP-D) mRNA and protein levels exhibited large increases, which were confirmed in murine islets. Cytokine-induced expression of SP-D in islets was also demonstrated, suggesting a possible role as an anti-inflammatory molecule. Complementing these studies, an expression array was performed to define pregnancy-induced changes in expression of GPCRs that are known to impact islet cell function and proliferation. This assay, the results of which were confirmed using real-time reverse transcription-PCR assays, demonstrated that free fatty acid receptor 2 and cholecystokinin receptor A mRNA levels were increased at E13.5. This study has identified multiple novel targets that may be important for the adaptation of islets to pregnancy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism