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Adiponectin Promotes Maternal β-cell Expansion through Placental Lactogen Expression

posted on 21.10.2020, 18:16 by Ada Admin, Liping Qiao, Sarah Saget, Cindy Lu, William W. Hay, Jr., Gerard Karsenty, Jianhua Shao
Hypoadiponectinemia is a risk factor of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Our previous study reported that adiponectin gene knockout mice (Adipoq-/-) develop GDM due to insulin insufficiency. The main objective of this study was to elucidate the underlying mechanism through which adiponectin controls islet expansion during pregnancy. A significant reduction in β-cell proliferation rates, β-cell areas, and blood insulin concentrations was detected in Adipoq-/- mice at mid-pregnancy. Surprisingly, conditionally knocking down adiponectin receptor 1 (AdipoR1) or AdipoR2 genes in β-cells during pregnancy did not reduce β-cell proliferation rates or blood insulin concentrations. In vitro adiponectin treatment also failed to show any effect on β-cell proliferation of isolated pancreatic islets. It was reported that placental lactogen (PL) plays a crucial role in pregnancy-induced maternal β-cell proliferation. A significant decrease in phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5, a downstream molecule of PL signaling, was observed in islets from Adipoq-/- dams. The mRNA levels of mouse PL genes were robustly decreased in the placentas of Adipoq-/- dams. In contrast, adiponectin treatment increased PL expression in human placenta explants and JEG3 trophoblast cells. Most importantly, bovine PL injection restored β-cell proliferation and blood insulin concentrations in Adipoq-/- dams. Together, these results demonstrate that adiponectin plays a vital role in pregnancy-induced β-cell proliferation by promoting PL expression in trophoblast cells.


This work was supported by NIH grants DK095132 (J.S.) and DK113007 (J.S.)