Pregnancy and obesity are frequently associated with diminished insulin sensitivity, which is normally compensated for by an expansion of the functional β cell mass that prevents chronic hyperglycemia and development of diabetes mellitus. The molecular basis underlying compensatory β cell mass expansion is largely unknown. We found in rodents that β cell mass expansion during pregnancy and obesity is associated with changes in the expression of several islet microRNAs, including miR-338-3p. In isolated pancreatic islets, we recapitulated the decreased miR-338-3p level observed in gestation and obesity by activating the G protein–coupled estrogen receptor GPR30 and the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) receptor. Blockade of miR-338-3p in β cells using specific anti-miR molecules mimicked gene expression changes occurring during β cell mass expansion and resulted in increased proliferation and improved survival both in vitro and in vivo. These findings point to a major role for miR-338-3p in compensatory β cell mass expansion occurring under different insulin resistance states.
Cécile Jacovetti, Amar Abderrahmani, Géraldine Parnaud, Jean-Christophe Jonas, Marie-Line Peyot, Marion Cornu, Ross Laybutt, Emmanuelle Meugnier, Sophie Rome, Bernard Thorens, Marc Prentki, Domenico Bosco, Romano Regazzi