Insulin-secreting pancreatic β-cells express proteins characteristic of D-serine regulated synapses, but the acute effect of D-serine co-agonism on its presumptive β-cell target, N-methyl Daspartate receptors (NMDARs), is unclear. We used multiple models to evaluate glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion in mice with a systemic increase in D-serine (intraperitoneal injection or DAAO mutants without D-serine catabolism) or tissue-specific loss of Grin1-encoded GluN1, the D-serine binding NMDAR subunit. We also investigated the effects of D-serine ± NMDA on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) and β-cell depolarizing membrane oscillations, using perforated patch electrophysiology, in β-cell-containing primary isolated mouse islets. In vivo models of elevated D-serine correlated to improved blood glucose and insulin levels. In vitro, Dserine potentiated GSIS and β-cell membrane excitation, dependent on NMDAR activating conditions including GluN1 expression (co-agonist target), simultaneous NMDA (agonist), and elevated glucose (depolarization). Pancreatic GluN1-loss females were glucose intolerant and GSIS was depressed in islets from younger, but not older, βGrin1 KO mice. Thus, D-serine is capable of acute antidiabetic effects in mice and potentiates insulin secretion through excitatory β-cell NMDAR co-agonism but strain-dependent shifts in potency and age/sex-specific Grin1-loss phenotypes suggest that context is critical to the interpretation of data on the role of D-serine and NMDARs in β-cell function.
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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Glucose homeostasis
- Insulin secretion
- NMDA receptor
- β -cell