VMAT2 safeguards beta-cells against dopamine cytotoxicity under high-fat diet induced stress
figureposted on 21.08.2020, 16:38 by Ada Admin, Daisuke Sakano, Fumiya Uefune, Hiraku Tokuma, Yuki Sonoda, Kumi Matsuura, Naoki Takeda, Naomi Nakagata, Kazuhiko Kume, Nobuaki Shiraki, Shoen Kume
Vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) uptakes cytoplasmic monoamines into vesicles for storage. VMAT2 plays a role in modulating insulin release by regulating dopamine levels in the pancreas, although the exact mechanism remains elusive. We found that VMAT2 expression in beta-cells specifically increases under high blood glucose conditions. The islets isolated from beta-cell specific Vmat2 knock-out (βVmat2KO) mice show elevated insulin secretion levels in response to glucose stimulation. Under prolonged high-fat diet feedings, the βVmat2KO mice exhibit impaired glucose and insulin tolerance and progressive beta-cell dysfunction. We demonstrate here that VMAT2 uptakes dopamine to protect it from degradation by monoamine oxidase, thereby safeguarding beta-cells from excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) exposure. When under high demand for insulin secretion, the absence of VMAT2 leads to elevated ROS in beta-cells, which accelerates beta-cell dedifferentiation and beta-cell loss. Therefore, VMAT2 controls the amount of dopamine in beta-cells thereby protecting pancreatic beta-cells from excessive oxidative stress.