Diabetologia. 2006 Jul;49(7):1587-98. Epub 2006 May 13.
alpha-lipoic acid regulates AMP-activated protein kinase and inhibits insulin secretion from beta cells.
Targonsky ED, Dai F, Koshkin V, Karaman GT, Gyulkhandanyan AV, Zhang Y, Chan CB, Wheeler MB.
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5S 1A8.
The antioxidant compound alpha-lipoic acid (alpha-LA) possesses antidiabetic and anti-obesity properties. In the hypothalamus, alpha-LA suppresses appetite and prevents obesity by inhibiting AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Given the therapeutic potential of alpha-LA for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity, and the importance of AMPK in beta cells, we examined the effect of alpha-LA on pancreatic beta cell function.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Isolated rat islets and MIN6 beta cells were treated acutely (15-90 min) or chronically (18-24 h) with alpha-LA or the known AMPK-activating compounds 5'-amino-imidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR) and metformin. Insulin secretion, the AMPK-signalling pathway, mitochondrial function and cell growth were assessed.
Acute or chronic treatment of islets and MIN6 cells with alpha-LA led to dose-dependent rises in phosphorylation of the AMPK alpha-subunit and acetyl CoA carboxylase. Chronic exposure to alpha-LA, AICAR or metformin caused a reduction in insulin secretion. alpha-LA inhibited the p70 s6 kinase translational control pathway, and inhibited MIN6 growth in a manner similar to rapamycin. Unlike AICAR and metformin, alpha-LA also acutely inhibited insulin secretion. Examination of the effect of alpha-LA on mitochondrial function showed that acute treatment with this compound elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and enhanced mitochondrial depolarisation induced by Ca(2+).
This study is the first to demonstrate that alpha-LA directly affects beta cell function. The chronic effects of alpha-LA include AMPK activation and reductions in insulin secretion and content, and cell growth. Acutely, alpha-LA also inhibits insulin secretion, an effect probably involving the ROS-induced impairment of mitochondrial function.
PMID:16752177[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]