The function of pancreatic β-cells is the synthesis and release of insulin, the hormone involved in blood glucose homeostasis. Estrogen receptors, ERα and ERβ, are important molecules involved in glucose metabolism, yet their role in pancreatic β-cell physiology is still greatly unknown. In this report we show that both ERα are present in pancreatic β-cells. Long term exposure to physiological concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2) increased β-cell insulin content, insulin gene expression and insulin release, yet pancreatic β-cell mass was unaltered. The up-regulation of pancreatic β-cell insulin content was imitated by environmentally relevant doses of the endocrine disruptor Bisphenol-A (BPA). The use of ERα and ERβ agonists as well as ERαKO and ERβKO mice suggests that the estrogen receptor involved is ERα. The up-regulation of pancreatic insulin content by ERα activation involves ERK1/2. These data may be important to explain the actions of E2 and environmental estrogens in endocrine pancreatic function and blood glucose homeostasis. © 2008 Alonso-Magdalena et al.
Alonso-Magdalena, P., Ropero, A. B., Carrera, M. P., Cederroth, C. R., Baquié, M., Gauthier, B. R., … Nadal, A. (2008). Pancreatic insulin content regulation by the Estrogen receptor ERα. PLoS ONE, 3(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002069