Metformin induces mitochondrial remodeling and differentiation of pancreatic progenitor cells into beta-cells by a potential mechanism including suppression of the T1R3, PLCβ2, cytoplasmic Ca<sup>+2</sup>, and AKT.

Celik E., Ercin M., Bolkent S., Gezginci-Oktayoglu S.

Journal of physiology and biochemistry, vol.78, no.4, pp.869-883, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 78 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13105-022-00910-8
  • Journal Name: Journal of physiology and biochemistry
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.869-883
  • Keywords: Aspartame, Beta-cell differentiation, Glucose metabolism, Metformin, Mitochondrial remodeling, Pancreatic progenitor cells, ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS, ENERGY-METABOLISM, STEM-CELLS, PHOSPHORYLATION, GLUCOSE, IDENTIFICATION, ADIPOGENESIS, DYSFUNCTION, GLYCOLYSIS, ASPARTAME
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


The main goal of this study was to investigate the molecular changes in pancreatic progenitor cells subject to high glucose, aspartame, and metformin in vitro. This scope of work glucose, aspartame, and metformin were exposed to pancreatic islet derived progenitor cells (PID-PCs) for 10 days. GLUT1's role in beta-cell differentiation was examined by using GLUT1 inhibitor WZB117. Insulin(+) cell ratio was measured by flow cytometry; the expression of beta-cell differentiation related genes was shown by RT-PCR; mitochondrial mass, mitochondrial ROS level, cytoplasmic Ca2(+), glucose uptake, and metabolite analysis were made fluorometrically and spectrophotometrically; and proteins involved in related molecular pathways were determined by western blotting. Findings showed that glucose or aspartame exposed cells had similar metabolic and gene expression profile to control PID-PCs. Furthermore, relatively few insulin(+) cells in aspartame treated cells were determined. Aspartame signal is transmitted through PLC beta 2, CAMKK2 and LKB1 in PID-PCs. The most obvious finding of this study is that metformin significantly increased beta-cell differentiation. The mechanism involves suppression of the sweet taste signal's molecules T1R3, PLC beta 2, cytoplasmic Ca+2, and AKT in addition to the direct effect of metformin on mitochondria and AMPK, and the energy metabolism of PID-PCs is remodelled in the direction of oxidative phosphorylation. These findings are very important in terms of determining that metformin stimulates the mitochondrial remodeling and the differentiation of PID-PCs to beta-cells and thus it may contribute to the compensation step, which is the first stage of diabetes development.