Characterization of the insulinotropic potency of polyunsaturated fatty acids.


Journal Article

In this study we have assessed the individual abilities of the essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids, to release insulin and compared their insulinotropic potencies with those of the more established nutrient insulin secretagogues, glucose and arginine. In each experiment, a total of six islets microdissected from three mice were preperifused at the rate of 1 ml/min with Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate buffer, pH 7.4, containing 2% bovine albumin and 5.5 mM glucose (basal) with a continuous supply of 95% O2-5% CO2 at 37 C for 1 h. After collecting basal samples, the effects of 27.7 mM glucose, 20 mM arginine, 10 mM linoleic acid (18:2, omega 6), and 5 mM linolenic acid (18:3, omega 3) were tested using a sandwich protocol that entails 20-min alternating periods of stimulation with a secretagogue and a washout with basal perifusion. These nutrient concentrations were selected from initial experiments performed to characterize their dose-response effects on insulin secretion. Effluent samples were collected throughout each experiment for measurement of insulin by RIA. In one series of experiments, islets were challenged three times with 27.7 mM glucose, 10 mM linoleic acid, and 5 mM linolenic acid. In another set of experiments, islets were perifused with 20 mM arginine, 27.7 mM glucose, and 10 mM linoleic acid. All of these nutrients stimulated insulin release in a dose-dependent manner. In comparing the insulinotropic potencies of these secretagogues, we assessed insulin secretion as the integrated areas under the curve during 20 min of perifusion with a given nutrient. Thus, the mean integrated area under the curve per 20 min above basal in the presence of 27.7 mM glucose was 6,516 +/- 1,435 pg, which was not significantly different from the value of 4,772 +/- 866 pg obtained during arginine perifusion. However, the area under the curve during 20 min above basal obtained in the presence of linoleate and linolenic acid (8,712 +/- 1,949 and 10,506 +/- 1,490 pg, respectively) were significantly different (P less than 0.05) from those calculated during arginine and glucose perifusions. There was no statistically significant difference between the effects of these two fatty acids at the concentrations tested. In conclusion, our data suggest that linoleic acid and linolenic acid may be, at least in this murine islet preparation, as effective in stimulating insulin release as glucose and arginine, hitherto used to assess the abilities of nutrients to stimulate insulin secretion. However, it remains to be seen whether the efficacy of these polyunsaturated fatty acids in insulin release by murine islets will be obtained in experiments performed on human islets.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Opara, EC; Hubbard, VS; Burch, WM; Akwari, OE

Published Date

  • February 1, 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 130 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 657 - 662

PubMed ID

  • 1733714

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1733714

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-7227

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1210/endo.130.2.1733714


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States