The role of cytoskeletal proteins in the mechanism of insulin release
This thesis is concerned with the role of /3-cell cytoskeletal proteins in the mechanism of insulin release from islets of experimental animals, the Aston obese diabetic hyperglycaemic (ob/ob) mouse and their lean littermates and the cultural insulin secreting /?-cell lines, HIT-TT5 and RINm5F. Investigations were carried out into the glucose induced insulin response of the lean and obese mouse islets and HIT-TI5 cells and the D-glyceraldehyde response of RINm5F cells using a static incubation system. Colchicine was found to inhibit insulin release from both lean and obese mouse islets more significantly than cultured TTT-TI5 and RINm5F cells. (Colchicine pre-treatment also inhibited the second phase of insulin release from perifused lean mouse islets and HIT-TI5 cells). Cytocha-lasin B, used to investigate the role of the microfilamentous system in the mechanism of insulin release enhanced insulin release from both lean and obese mouse islets to a significantly greater degree than that from cultured HIT-TI5 and RINm5F cells. Pre-treatment of isolated lean and obese mouse islets and cultured /?-cells with a combination of colchicine and cytochalasin B significantly reduced the insulin response of the HIT-TI5 and RINm5F cells compared with the control values suggesting that intact microtubules are more important for the sustained release of insulin than the microfilamentous system. However, the response was not so clearly defined with the lean and obese mouse islets. Tubulin was separated from the extracts of lean mouse islets and the HIT-TI5 and RINm5F cells and actin was separated from all of the cell types including the obese mouse islets by SDS- polyacrylamide electrophoresis. A tubulin radioimmunoassay and a colchicine binding assay were developed to measure the tubulin content of lean and obese mouse islets, and the shift between the proportions of tubulin dimers and polymerized tubulin under stimulatory and non-stimulatory conditions. The assay methods developed were not prone to be accurate, sensitive and precise but gave some indication of the shift from unpolymerised to polymerised tubulin during glucose stimulated insulin release. These studies show that microtubules do play a fundamental role in the mechanism of insulin release from both islets and cultured HIT-TI5 and RINm5F cells.