Genetic ablation of the preptin-coding portion of Igf2 impairs pancreatic function in female mice

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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2022 Dec 1;323(6):E467-E479. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00401.2021. Epub 2022 Sep 21.

Genetic ablation of the preptin-coding portion of Igf2 impairs pancreatic function in female mice

E J Buckels, H-L Hsu, C M Buchanan, B G Matthews, K L Lee

Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Service type: Knock-in mice


Preptin is a 34-amino acid peptide derived from the E-peptide of pro-insulin-like growth factor 2 and is co-secreted with insulin from β-cells. Little is understood about the effects of endogenous preptin on whole body glucose metabolism. We developed a novel mouse model in which the preptin portion of Igf2 was genetically ablated in all tissues, hereafter referred to as preptin knockout (KO), and tested the hypothesis that the removal of preptin will lead to a decreased insulin response to a metabolic challenge. Preptin KO and wild-type (WT) mice underwent weekly fasting blood glucose measurements, intraperitoneal insulin tolerance tests (ITT) at 9, 29, and 44 wk of age, and an oral glucose tolerance test (GTT) at 45 wk of age. Preptin KO mice of both sexes had similar Igf2 exon 2-3 mRNA expression in the liver and kidney compared with WT mice, but Igf2 exon 3-4 (preptin) expression was not detectable. Western blot analysis of neonatal serum indicated that processing of pro-IGF2 translated from the KO allele may be altered. Preptin KO mice had similar body weight, body composition, β-cell area, and fasted glucose concentrations compared with WT mice in both sexes up to 47 wk of age. Female KO mice had a diminished ability to mount an insulin response following glucose stimulation in vivo. This effect was absent in male KO mice. Although preptin is not essential for glucose homeostasis, when combined with previous in vitro and ex vivo findings, these data show that preptin positively impacts β-cell function. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first study to describe a model in which the preptin-coding portion of the Igf2 gene has been genetically ablated in mice. The mice do not show reduced size at birth associated with Igf2 knockout suggesting that IGF2 functionality is maintained, yet we demonstrate a change in the processing of mature Igf2. Female knockout mice have diminished glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, whereas the insulin response in males is not different to wild type.

Keywords: glucose tolerance; insulin-like growth factor II analogues; pancreatic β-cells; secretagogue; sexual dimorphism.

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