Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 146, Issue 1, pp 13–31 | Cite as

Reduced insulin secretion function is associated with pancreatic islet redistribution of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in diabetic mice after prolonged high-fat diet

  • Viviane Tannuri F. L. Falcão
  • Daniela A. Maschio
  • Camila Calvo de Fontes
  • Ricardo B. Oliveira
  • Junia C. Santos-Silva
  • Anna Carolina Soares Almeida
  • Emerielle C. Vanzela
  • Maria Tereza Cartaxo
  • Carolina P. F. Carvalho
  • Carla Beatriz Collares-Buzato
Original Paper


Intercellular junctions play a role in regulating islet cytoarchitecture, insulin biosynthesis and secretion. In this study, we investigated the animal metabolic state as well as islet histology and cellular distribution/expression of CAMs and F-actin in the endocrine pancreas of C57BL/6/JUnib mice fed a high-fat diet (HFd) for a prolonged time period (8 months). Mice fed a HFd became obese and type 2 diabetic, displaying significant peripheral insulin resistance, hyperglycemia and moderate hyperinsulinemia. Isolated islets of HFd-fed mice displayed a significant impairment of glucose-induced insulin secretion associated with a diminished frequency of intracellular calcium oscillations compared with control islets. No marked change in islet morphology and cytoarchitecture was observed; however, HFd-fed mice showed higher beta cell relative area in comparison with controls. As shown by immunohistochemistry, ZO-1, E-, N-cadherins, α- and β-catenins were expressed at the intercellular contact site of endocrine cells, while VE-cadherin, as well as ZO-1, was found at islet vascular compartment. Redistribution of N-, E-cadherins and α-catenin (from the contact region to the cytoplasm in endocrine cells) associated with increased submembranous F-actin cell level as well as increased VE-cadherin islet immunolabeling was observed in diabetic mice. Increased gene expression of VE-cadherin and ZO-1, but no change for the other proteins, was observed in islets of diabetic mice. Only in the case of VE-cadherin, a significant increase in islet content of this CAM was detected by immunoblotting in diabetic mice. In conclusion, CAMs are expressed by endocrine and endothelial cells of pancreatic islets. The distribution/expression of N-, E- and VE-cadherins as well as α-catenin and F-actin is significantly altered in islet cells of obese and diabetic mice.


Cell adhesion molecules Cell–cell interactions Pancreatic beta cells Type 2 diabetes mellitus High-fat diet Insulin secretion 

Supplementary material

418_2016_1428_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viviane Tannuri F. L. Falcão
    • 1
    • 3
  • Daniela A. Maschio
    • 1
  • Camila Calvo de Fontes
    • 5
  • Ricardo B. Oliveira
    • 1
  • Junia C. Santos-Silva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anna Carolina Soares Almeida
    • 4
  • Emerielle C. Vanzela
    • 2
  • Maria Tereza Cartaxo
    • 3
  • Carolina P. F. Carvalho
    • 5
  • Carla Beatriz Collares-Buzato
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Tissue Biology, Institute of BiologyUniversity of Campinas (UNICAMP)CampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Structural and Functional Biology, Institute of BiologyUniversity of Campinas (UNICAMP)CampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Institute of Biology, College of NursingUniversity of Pernambuco (UPE)RecifeBrazil
  4. 4.Department of BiologyFederal University of Pernambuco (UFRPE)RecifeBrazil
  5. 5.Department of BiosciencesFederal University of São PauloSantosBrazil

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