Aims/hypothesis: We investigated the production of kisspeptin (KISS1) and the KISS1 receptor, GPR54, in pancreatic islets and determined the effects of exogenous kisspeptin on insulin secretion.
Methods: RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry were used to detect expression of KISS1 and GPR54 mRNAs and the production of KISS1 and GPR54 in human and mouse islets and in beta (MIN6) and alpha- (alphaTC1) cell lines. The effects of KISS1 on basal and glucose-induced insulin secretion from mouse and human islets were measured in a perifusion system.
Results: KISS1 and GPR54 mRNAs were both detected in human and mouse islets, and GPR54 mRNA expression was also found in the MIN6 and alphaTC1 endocrine cell lines. In sections of mouse pancreas, KISS1 and GPR54 immunoreactivities were co-localised in both beta and alpha cells within islets, but were not detected in the exocrine pancreas. Exposure of mouse and human islets to KISS1 caused a stimulation of glucose-induced (20 mmol/l) insulin secretion, but had no effect on the basal rate of secretion at a sub-stimulatory concentration of glucose (2 mmol/l). In contrast, KISS1 inhibited insulin secretion from MIN6 cells at both 2 and 20 mmol/l glucose. KISS1 had no significant effect on glucagon secretion from mouse islets.
Conclusions/interpretation: This is the first report to show that the GPR54/KISS1 system is expressed in the endocrine pancreas, where it influences beta cell secretory function. These observations suggest an important role for this system in the normal regulation of islet function.