Effect of dexamethasone on insulin secretion: Examination of underlying mechanisms

Ajay Sood, Faramarz Ismail-Beigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the mechanism of increased insulin secretion in response to short-term administration of dexamethasone. Methods: Male Wistar rats were injected intraperitoneally with dexamethasone (dexamethasone; 200 mcg/kg body weight per day) or saline for 3 consecutive days. Insulin secretion in response to glucose, ionomycin, and KCl was quantified in islets isolated from the animals, and the amount of glucokinase was measured by Western blot. Results: Dexamethasone-treated animals had 1.18-fold higher fasting blood glucose concentration and 6.5-fold increase in fasting serum insulin concentration compared with findings from animals injected with saline. Compared with islets isolated from control rats, islets from dexamethasone-treated rats secreted more insulin at 60 minutes in response to 5.5 mM glucose (416.4 vs 115.6 fmoles/10 islets, P = .011) and in response to 16.6 mM glucose (985.5 vs 520.6 fmoles/10 islets, P = .014); no change in insulin secretion was observed at 10 minutes. Insulin secretion from islets of dexamethasone-treated rats and control rats was not differentially augmented in response to either ionomycin or potassium chloride. Glucokinase expression was not altered by treatment with dexamethasone. Conclusions: Augmentation of insulin secretion in response to glucose in the pancreatic islets from dexamethasone-treated rats is preserved in islets studied in vitro. The increase in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion appears to be mediated by steps upstream to β-cell membrane depolarization and the attended increase in intracellular calcium in the signaling pathway of insulin secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-769
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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