Mitochondrial form and function in pancreatic β-cells and brown adipocytes

Detta är en avhandling från The Wenner-Gren Institute,Stockholm University

Sammanfattning: This thesis is focused on the role of mitochondria in pancreatic β-cells and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Two main aspects of mitochondria were explored; mitochondrial functional efficiency and the interrelationship between mitochondrial shape and function.Mitochondria in β-cells were found to exhibit heterogeneity in mitochondrial membrane potential. This functional diversity decreased when cells were challenged with glucose stimuli, suggesting that at higher fuel levels low-activity mitochondria are recruited into a pool of high-activity mitochondria. Glucolipotoxic conditions increased the functional diversity suggesting that this may be of importance for diabetes pathophysiology.To examine mitochondrial efficiency in intact islets a high throughput islet respirometry method was developed. Due to increased uncoupling, islets from a diabetic animal model exhibit lower respiratory efficiency. Glucose, free fatty acids and amino acids all decreased respiratory efficiency. A large portion of the respiratory efficiency was mediated by reactive oxygen species and the adenine nucleotide translocase.In β-cells mitochondria were found to undergo cycles of fusion and fission. During glucolipotoxicity mitochondria fragmented and lost their fusion ability. Knock down of the fission protein Fis1 rescued the β-cells from glucolipotoxic induced cell death. BAT mitochondria also showed fusion and fission. The mitochondrial dynamics proteins Mfn2 and Drp1 were shown to strongly affect BAT mitochondrial morphology. In response to a combination of adrenergic and free fatty acid stimuli mitochondria drastically changed from long filamentous structures to fragmented spheres. Inhibiting fission by the negative form of Drp1 decreased BAT response to adrenergic stimuli by half.In conclusion, mitochondrial efficiency may be of importance for normal as well as compromised β-cell and islet function. Mitochondrial morphology appears critical for mitochondrial function in β-cells and BAT.