, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 123-127
Date: 08 Nov 2009

Regulation of wingless-type MMTV integration site family (WNT) signalling in pancreatic islets from wild-type and obese mice

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

TCF7L2 is a type 2 diabetes susceptibility gene and downstream effector of canonical wingless-type MMTV integration site family (WNT) signalling. However, it is unknown whether this pathway is active in adult pancreatic islets in vivo, and whether it is regulated in obesity.

Methods

We analysed activation of endogenous WNT signalling in the endocrine pancreas from wild-type and obese mice (ob/ob) using a reporter transgene (Topgal). Regulation of WNT signalling was compared using gene chip experiments from isolated pancreatic islets. Activation of canonical WNT signalling in pancreatic islets and the mouse beta cell line MIN6 was measured using immunoblotting for cytosolic β-catenin.

Results

Endogenous canonical WNT signalling was absent in the adult endocrine pancreas in both wild-type and obese mice. We identified WNT4 as an abundant WNT signalling molecule in adult pancreatic islets that is induced in two different insulin-resistant mouse models. Increased expression of WNT4 inhibited canonical WNT signalling in pancreatic islets and MIN6 cells.

Conclusions/interpretation

Canonical WNT signalling is not active in adult beta cells in vivo. WNT4 provides a potential mechanism for suppression of canonical WNT signalling in obese mice.