Background: Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) and excessive autophagy are increasingly recognized as risk factors associated with development and progression of β-cell dysfunction. Jiedu Tongluo Tiaogan Formula (JTTF) has known anti-glucotoxicity activities, but its pharmacological effects on pancreatic cell are not clearly understood. This study was designed to investigate JTTF effects/mechanisms on in vitro glucotoxicity (HG)-induced ERS and excessive autophagic damage of pancreatic cells in vitro and on in vivo pancreatic injury in db/db mice.
Methods: The chemical composition of a JTTF preparation were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatographic fingerprinting. Meanwhile, cell viability, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, insulin biosynthesis dysfunction, Ca2+ overload, ERS and excessive autophagy were assessed in JTTF-pretreated pancreatic β-cells with HG-induced injury. Hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunohistochemical analyses of pancreatic tissues revealed effects of in vivo JTTF pretreatment on development of HG-induced pancreatic injury in db/db mice.
Results: Five JTTF chemical components were identified. Our results revealed that JTTF treatment protected β-cells from HG injury by increasing insulin biosynthesis and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), while also decreasing Ca2+ overload, ERS and excessive autophagy. Furthermore, protective effects of JTTF treatment against HG-induced β-cell ERS and excessive autophagy were linked to regulation of CaMKKβ/AMPK pathway functions, while JTTF administration as confirmed to reverse pancreatic injury in db/db mice.
Conclusions: Collectively, the results presented here indicate that JTTF may prevent islet cell dysfunction in T2DM mice by inhibiting CaMKKβ/AMPK pathway-mediated ERS and excessive autophagy. These findings enhance our understanding of mechanisms underlying beneficial JTTF-induced amelioration of T2DM.