Neuronal signals regulate obesity induced β-cell proliferation by FoxM1 dependent mechanism

Junpei Yamamoto, Junta Imai, Tomohito Izumi, Hironori Takahashi, Yohei Kawana, Kei Takahashi, Shinjiro Kodama, Keizo Kaneko, Junhong Gao, Kenji Uno, Shojiro Sawada, Tomoichiro Asano, Vladimir V. Kalinichenko, Etsuo A. Susaki, Makoto Kanzaki, Hiroki R. Ueda, Yasushi Ishigaki, Tetsuya Yamada, Hideki Katagiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Under insulin-resistant conditions such as obesity, pancreatic β-cells proliferate to prevent blood glucose elevations. A liver-brain-pancreas neuronal relay plays an important role in this process. Here, we show the molecular mechanism underlying this compensatory β-cell proliferation. We identify FoxM1 activation in islets from neuronal relay-stimulated mice. Blockade of this relay, including vagotomy, inhibits obesity-induced activation of the β-cell FoxM1 pathway and suppresses β-cell expansion. Inducible β-cell-specific FoxM1 deficiency also blocks compensatory β-cell proliferation. In isolated islets, carbachol and PACAP/VIP synergistically promote β-cell proliferation through a FoxM1-dependent mechanism. These findings indicate that vagal nerves that release several neurotransmitters may allow simultaneous activation of multiple pathways in β-cells selectively, thereby efficiently promoting β-cell proliferation and maintaining glucose homeostasis during obesity development. This neuronal signal-mediated mechanism holds potential for developing novel approaches to regenerating pancreatic β-cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1930
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1


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