Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 346, Issue 3, pp 393–405 | Cite as

Nesfatin-1 stimulates glucagon and insulin secretion and beta cell NUCB2 is reduced in human type 2 diabetic subjects

  • Matteo Riva
  • Marloes Dekker Nitert
  • Ulrikke Voss
  • Ramasri Sathanoori
  • Andreas Lindqvist
  • Charlotte Ling
  • Nils WierupEmail author
Regular Article


Nesfatin-1 is a novel anorexigenic regulatory peptide. The peptide is the N-terminal part of nucleobindin 2 (NUCB2) and is expressed in brain areas regulating feeding. Outside the brain, nesfatin-1 expression has been reported in adipocytes, gastric endocrine cells and islet cells. We studied NUCB2 expression in human and rodent islets using immunocytochemistry, in situ hybridization and western blot. Furthermore, we investigated the potential influence of nesfatin-1 on secretion of insulin and glucagon in vitro and in vivo in mice and in INS-1 (832/13) cells. The impact of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and glucolipotoxicity on NUCB2 gene expression in human islets and its relationship to insulin secretory capacity and islet gene expression was studied using microarray. Nesfatin-1 immunoreactivity (IR) was abundant in human and rodent beta cells but absent in alpha, delta, PP and ghrelin cells. Importantly, in situ hybridization showed that NUCB2 mRNA is expressed in human and rat islets. Western blot analysis showed that nesfatin-1 IR represented full length NUCB2 in rodent islets. Human islet NUCB2 mRNA was reduced in T2D subjects but upregulated after culture in glucolipotoxic conditions. Furthermore, a positive correlation between NUCB2 and glucagon and insulin gene expression, as well as insulin secretory capacity, was evident. Nesfatin-1 enhanced glucagon secretion but had no effect on insulin secretion from mouse islets or INS-1 (832/13) cells. On the other hand, nesfatin-1 caused a small increase in insulin secretion and reduced glucose during IVGTT in mice. We conclude that nesfatin-1 is a novel glucagon-stimulatory peptide expressed in the beta cell and that its expression is decreased in T2D islets.


Regulatory peptide Human islets Rodent islets In situ hybridization Immunochemistry 



Grants support from: Swedish Medical Research Council (Projects No. 522-2008-4216 and K2009-55X 21111-01-4), The Novo Nordisk Foundation, The Royal Physiographic Society in Lund, The Medical Faculty at Lund University, The Gyllenstiernska Krapperup, Fredrik and Ingrid Thuring, Magnus Bergwall, Albert Påhlsson Foundations. Ann-Helen Thorén Fischer, Doris Persson and Britt-Marie Nilsson for excellent technical assistance.

Author contributions

M.R. performed experiments, drew figures and drafted the MS, U.V. performed experiments, M.D.N. performed experiments, analysis and edited the MS, C.L. performed analysis and edited the MS, R.S. performed experiments and drew figures, A.L. performed experiments and drew figures, N.W. conceived the study, performed experiments, drew figures, drafted and edited the MS.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matteo Riva
    • 1
  • Marloes Dekker Nitert
    • 1
  • Ulrikke Voss
    • 1
  • Ramasri Sathanoori
    • 1
  • Andreas Lindqvist
    • 1
  • Charlotte Ling
    • 1
  • Nils Wierup
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical SciencesLund University Diabetes CentreMalmöSweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Unit of Neuroendocrine Cell BiologyLund University Diabetes CentreMalmöSweden

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