Along with functionally intact insulin, diabetes-associated insulin peptides are secreted by β cells. By screening the expression and functional characterization of olfactory receptors (ORs) in pancreatic islets, we identified Olfr109 as the receptor that detects insulin peptides. The engagement of one insulin peptide, insB:9-23, with Olfr109 diminished insulin secretion through Gi-cAMP signaling and promoted islet-resident macrophage proliferation through a β cell-macrophage circuit and a β-arrestin-1-mediated CCL2 pathway, as evidenced by β-arrestin-1-/- mouse models. Systemic Olfr109 deficiency or deficiency induced by Pdx1-Cre+/-Olfr109fl/fl specifically alleviated intra-islet inflammatory responses and improved glucose homeostasis in Akita- and high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice. We further determined the binding mode between insB:9-23 and Olfr109. A pepducin-based Olfr109 antagonist improved glucose homeostasis in diabetic and obese mouse models. Collectively, we found that pancreatic β cells use Olfr109 to autonomously detect self-secreted insulin peptides, and this detection arrests insulin secretion and crosstalks with macrophages to increase intra-islet inflammation.
Keywords: GPCR; diabetes; insulin secretion; olfactory receptor.
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