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Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines Induce Insulin and Glucagon Double Positive Human Islet Cells That Are Resistant to Apoptosis

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The presence of islet cells double positive for insulin and glucagon (Ins+/Glu+) has been described in the pancreas from both type 2 (T2D) and type 1 (T1D) diabetic subjects. We studied the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines on the occurrence, trajectory, and characteristics of Ins+/Glu+ cells in human pancreatic islets. Pancreas samples, isolated islets, and dispersed islet cells from 3 T1D and 11 non-diabetic (ND) multi-organ donors were studied by immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, and/or electron microscopy. ND islet cells were exposed to interleukin-1β and interferon-γ for up to 120 h. In T1D islets, we confirmed an increased prevalence of Ins+/Glu+ cells. Cytokine-exposed islets showed a progressive increase of Ins+/Glu+ cells that represented around 50% of endocrine cells after 120h. Concomitantly, cells expressing insulin granules only decreased significantly over time, whereas those containing only glucagon granules remained stable. Interestingly, Ins+/Glu+ cells were less prone to cytokine-induced apoptosis than cells containing only insulin. Cytokine-exposed islets showed down-regulation of β-cell identity genes. In conclusion, pro-inflammatory cytokines induce Ins+/Glu+ cells in human islets, possibly due to a switch from a β- to a β-/α-cell phenotype. These Ins+/Glu+ cells appear to be resistant to cytokine-induced apoptosis.
Tijdschrift: Biomolecules
ISSN: 2218-273X
Issue: 2
Volume: 11