Identification of key β cell gene signaling pathways involved in type 1 diabetes

Diego Silva, Nikolai Petrovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In type 1 diabetes, β cells die through a process of immune-mediated apoptosis. To better understand this process, it has been accepted practice to study β cell or islet apoptosis in vitro in response to a range of immune stimuli, such as interferon gamma, interleukin-1, nitric oxide or free radicals. In particular, much use has been made of immortalized β cell lines for such studies, although it is not clear to what extent the behavior of these cell lines might mimic the behavior of normal β cells in vivo, or freshly isolated β cells ex vivo. To address this question we compared the gene expression of freshly isolated NOD islets in the presence or absence of insulitis, with previously published data examining either islet or β cell gene or protein expression in a range of different species and contexts. There was a high correlation between β cell genes found be to be expressed by mouse and rat islets, by either gene expression or proteomic analysis. There was also a surprisingly high correlation between β cell genes found be to be expressed by islets exposed to insulitis in vivo and islets stimulated with EFN-γ and IL-1β in vitro, suggesting that these two cytokines as produced by the islet infiltrate are important for priming β cells in vivo. There was a much lower correlation when gene expression was compared between fresh β cells and β cell lines, consistent with the view that β cell lines are very poorly representative of real β cells. Hence, any results obtained using β cell lines should be interpreted with great caution when extrapolating to the behavior of real β cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1037
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Beta cell
  • Cytokines
  • Gene regulation
  • Type 1 diabetes

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