Neuroendocrine regulatory peptide (NERP)-2, recently identified as a bioactive peptide involved in vasopressin secretion and feeding regulation in the central nervous system, is abundantly expressed in endocrine cells in peripheral tissues. To explore the physiological roles of NERP-2 in the pancreas, we examined its effects on insulin secretion. NERP-2 increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in a dose-dependent manner, with a lowest effective dose of 10(-7) M, from the pancreatic β-cell line MIN6 and isolated mouse pancreatic islets. NERP-2 did not affect insulin secretion under the low-glucose conditions. Neither NERP-1 nor NERP-2-Gly (nonamidated NERP-2) stimulated insulin secretion. NERP-2 significantly augmented GSIS after intravenous administration to anesthetized rats or intraperitoneal injection to conscious mice. We detected NERP-2 in pancreatic islets, where it co-localized extensively with insulin. Calcium-imaging analysis demonstrated that NERP-2 increased the calcium influx in MIN6 cells. These findings reveal that NERP-2 regulates GSIS by elevating intracellular calcium concentrations.
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