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Title: Mitochondrial DNA depletion and insulin secretion
Authors: Hine, Donna Louise
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Type 2 diabetes is an age-related condition and is characterised by a progressive decline in insulin secretion. Mitochondria play a key role in energy generation for insulin secretion. We previously reported an age-related decline in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number in isolated human islets. TFAM, mtDNA Transcription Factor A, regulates mtDNA transcription and mtDNA copy number. Aims: We aimed to replicate the percentage decrease in mtDNA copy number that we observed with ageing in human islets, and to explore whether this affected mitochondrial function and insulin secretion. Methods: Two independent models of mtDNA depletion were created. The first model knocked down TFAM gene expression using siRNA technology. The second model subjected cells to didanosine, a nucleoside analogue of adenosine with a high affinity to POLG, a mtDNA polymerase. Results: Both models produced comparable levels of mtDNA depletion. Upon investigating the effects of partial mtDNA depletion on mitochondrial function, we found that both mtDNA depletion models displayed reduced mtDNA gene transcription and translation. However, neither model of mtDNA depletion affected ATP content or mitochondrial membrane potential. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was decreased following mtDNA depletion in the TFAM knock down cells which was rescued following treatment with the insulin secretagogue glibenclamide. Conversely, didanosine-induced mtDNA depleted cells showed increased insulin secretion. Conclusions: Both models generated a similar degree of mtDNA depletion, which was comparable to the percentage decrease seen in human islets with ageing. Both models were seen to impair mitochondrial function, but with opposing effects on insulin secretion. The TFAM model findings are in line with previous studies of severe mtDNA depletion, suggesting that the increase in insulin secretion seen with didanosine is due to drug off target effects. Strategies to slow islet mtDNA depletion in man could help to preserve insulin secretion and delay the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

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