Senescence marker protein-30 (SMP30) is an androgen-independent factor that decreases with age. We recently identified SMP30 as the lactone-hydrolyzing enzyme gluconolactonase (GNL), which is involved in vitamin C biosynthesis in animal species. To examine whether the age-related decrease in SMP30/GNL has effects on glucose homeostasis, we used SMP30/GNL knockout (KO) mice treated with L-ascorbic acid. In an ip glucose tolerance test at 15 wk of age, blood glucose levels in SMP30/GNL KO mice were significantly increased by 25% at 30 min after glucose administration compared with wildtype( WT)mice.Insulin levels inSMP30/GNLKOmiceweresignificantlydecreasedby37%at30minafter glucose compared with WT mice. Interestingly, an insulin tolerance test showed a greater glucoselowering effect in SMP30/GNL KO mice. High-fat diet feeding severely worsened glucose tolerance in both WT and SMP30/GNL KO mice. Morphometric analysis revealed no differences in the degree of high-fat diet-induced compensatory increase in β-cell mass and proliferation. In the static incubation study of islets, insulin secretion in response to 20 mM glucose or KCl was significantly decreased in SMP30/GNLKOmice.Onthe other hand, islet ATP content at 20mMin SMP30/GNLKOmice was similar to that in WT mice. Collectively, these data indicate that impairment of the early phase of insulin secretion due to dysfunction of the distal portion of the secretion pathway underlies glucose intolerance in SMP30/GNL KO mice. Decreased SMP30/GNL may contribute to the worsening of glucose tolerance that occurs in normal aging.
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