Congenital hyperinsulinism of infancy (CHI) can be caused by inactivating mutations in the gene encoding short-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (SCHAD), a ubiquitously expressed enzyme involved in fatty acid oxidation. The hypersecretion of insulin may be explained by a loss of interaction between SCHAD and glutamate dehydrogenase in the pancreatic β-cells. However, there is also a general accumulation of metabolites specific for the enzymatic defect in affected individuals. It remains to be explored whether hypoglycemia in SCHAD CHI can be uncoupled from the systemic effect on fatty acid oxidation. We therefore transplanted islets from global SCHAD knockout (SCHADKO) mice into mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. After transplantation, SCHADKO islet recipients exhibited significantly lower random and fasting blood glucose compared with mice transplanted with normal islets or nondiabetic, nontransplanted controls. Furthermore, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance was improved in animals receiving SCHADKO islets compared with those receiving normal islets. Graft β-cell proliferation and apoptosis rates were similar in the two transplantation groups. We conclude that hypoglycemia in SCHAD-CHI is islet cell-autonomous.
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