Islet adaptations to pregnancy were explored in C57BL6/J mice lacking functional receptors for glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP). Pregnant wild type mice and GIPRKO mice exhibited marked increases in islet and beta cell area, numbers of medium/large sized islets, with positive effects on Ki67/Tunel ratio favouring beta cell growth and enhanced pancreatic insulin content. Alpha cell area and glucagon content were unchanged but prohormone convertases PC2 and PC1/3 together with significant amounts of GLP-1 and GIP were detected in alpha cells. Knockout of GLP-1R abolished these islet adaptations and paradoxically decreased pancreatic insulin, GLP-1 and GIP. This was associated with abolition of normal pregnancy-induced increases in plasma GIP, L-cell numbers, and intestinal GIP and GLP-1 stores. These data indicate that GLP-1 but not GIP is a key mediator of beta cell mass expansion and related adaptations in pregnancy, triggered in part by generation of intra-islet GLP-1.
Moffett, RC., Vasu, S., Thorens, B., Drucker, DJ., Flatt, P., & Moffett, C. (2014). Incretin Receptor Null Mice Reveal Key Role of GLP-1 but Not GIP in Pancreatic Beta Cell Adaptation to Pregnancy. PLoS ONE, 9, e96863. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0096863