High Coexpression of the Ghrelin and LEAP2 Receptor GHSR With Pancreatic Polypeptide in Mouse and Human Islets.


Islets represent an important site of direct action of the hormone ghrelin, with expression of the ghrelin receptor (growth hormone secretagogue receptor; GHSR) having been localized variably to alpha cells, beta cells, and/or somatostatin (SST)-secreting delta cells. To our knowledge, GHSR expression by pancreatic polypeptide (PP)-expressing gamma cells has not been specifically investigated. Here, histochemical analyses of Ghsr-IRES-Cre × Cre-dependent ROSA26-yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) reporter mice showed 85% of GHSR-expressing islet cells coexpress PP, 50% coexpress SST, and 47% coexpress PP + SST. Analysis of single-cell transcriptomic data from mouse pancreas revealed 95% of Ghsr-expressing cells coexpress Ppy, 100% coexpress Sst, and 95% coexpress Ppy + Sst. This expression was restricted to gamma-cell and delta-cell clusters. Analysis of several single-cell human pancreatic transcriptome data sets revealed 59% of GHSR-expressing cells coexpress PPY, 95% coexpress SST, and 57% coexpress PPY + SST. This expression was prominent in delta-cell and beta-cell clusters, also occurring in other clusters including gamma cells and alpha cells. GHSR expression levels were upregulated by type 2 diabetes mellitus in beta cells. In mice, plasma PP positively correlated with fat mass and with plasma levels of the endogenous GHSR antagonist/inverse agonist LEAP2. Plasma PP also elevated on LEAP2 and synthetic GHSR antagonist administration. These data suggest that in addition to delta cells, beta cells, and alpha cells, PP-expressing pancreatic cells likely represent important direct targets for LEAP2 and/or ghrelin both in mice and humans.