The circadian clock has been shown to regulate metabolic homeostasis. Mice with a deletion of Bmal1, a key component of the core molecular clock, develop hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia suggesting β-cell dysfunction. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully known. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the regulation of β-cell function by Bmal1. We studied β-cell function in global Bmal1 -/- mice, in vivo and in isolated islets ex vivo, as well as in rat insulinoma cell lines with shRNA-mediated Bmal1 knockdown. Global Bmal1 -/- mice develop diabetes secondary to a significant impairment in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). There is a blunting of GSIS in both isolated Bmal1 -/- islets and in Bmal1 knockdown cells, as compared with controls, suggesting that this is secondary to a loss of cell-autonomous effect of Bmal1. In contrast to previous studies, in these Bmal1 -/- mice on a C57Bl/6 background, the loss of stimulated insulin secretion, interestingly, is with glucose but not to other depolarizing secretagogues, suggesting that events downstream of membrane depolarization are largely normal in Bmal1 -/- islets. This defect in GSIS occurs as a result of increased mitochondrial uncoupling with consequent impairment of glucose-induced mitochondrial potential generation and ATP synthesis, due to an upregulation of Ucp2. Inhibition of Ucp2 in isolated islets leads to a rescue of the glucose-induced ATP production and insulin secretion in Bmal1 -/- islets. Thus, Bmal1 regulates mitochondrial energy metabolism to maintain normal GSIS and its disruption leads to diabetes due to a loss of GSIS.
- Circadian clock
- Insulin secretion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism