Abstract: Pancreatic β cells secrete insulin in order to maintain glucose homeostasis. However, various environmental stresses such as obesity have been shown to induce loss of secretory responsiveness in pancreatic β cells and pancreatic β cell apoptosis which can favor the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Indeed, elevated levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) have been shown to induce β cell apoptosis. Importantly, the chronic adverse effects of FFAs on β cell function and viability are potentiated in the presence of hyperglycaemia, a phenomenon that has been termed gluco-lipotoxicity. The molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of gluco-lipotoxicity in pancreatic β cells are not completely understood. Recent studies have shown that sphingolipid metabolism plays a key role in gluco-lipotoxicity induced apoptosis and loss of function of pancreatic β cells. The present review focuses on how the two main sphingolipid mediators, ceramides and sphingoid base-1-phosphates, regulate the deleterious effects of gluco-lipotoxicity on pancreatic β cells. The review highlights the role of a sphingolipid biostat on the dysregulation of β cell fate and function induced by gluco-lipotoxicity, offering the possibility of new therapeutic targets to prevent the onset of T2D.
Keywords: obesity; type 2 diabetes; gluco-lipotoxicity; islet of Langherans; ceramide; sphingosine-1-phosphate; sphingolipids; apoptosis; insulin; pancreas
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Véret, J.; Bellini, L.; Giussani, P.; Ng, C.; Magnan, C.; Stunff, H.L. Roles of Sphingolipid Metabolism in Pancreatic β Cell Dysfunction Induced by Lipotoxicity. J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3, 646-662.
Véret J, Bellini L, Giussani P, Ng C, Magnan C, Stunff HL. Roles of Sphingolipid Metabolism in Pancreatic β Cell Dysfunction Induced by Lipotoxicity. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2014; 3(2):646-662.
Véret, Julien; Bellini, Lara; Giussani, Paola; Ng, Carl; Magnan, Christophe; Stunff, Hervé L. 2014. "Roles of Sphingolipid Metabolism in Pancreatic β Cell Dysfunction Induced by Lipotoxicity." J. Clin. Med. 3, no. 2: 646-662.