Islet of Langerhans
Heat shock proteins
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The influence of beta cell activity on cytokineinduced functional and structural impairments as well as the ability of those damaged cells to recover were investigated. Rat islets cultured for 4 days in the presence of 5, 10, and 30 mmol/l glucose were exposed to interferon-γ (IFN, 500 U/ml) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF, 250 U/ml) for the last 24 h. After cytokine removal islets were allowed to recover spontaneously in culture medium containing 10 mmol/l glucose for a further 7 days. Cytokines significantly inhibited insulin release into culture medium, insulin storage, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, protein, and DNA synthesis. In the presence of cytokines there was a six- to eightfold increase in nitrite production by the islets. The functional impairments were more pronounced in metabolically stimulated beta cells. In addition, cytokines caused membrane alterations as indicated by increased spontaneous chromium-51 release. The cytokines specifically induced the synthesis of two proteins (72 and 88 kDa, respectively). By immunoblotting, the 72-kDa protein was identified as heat shock protein. After a 1-week recovery period, insulin storage and stimulated insulin secretion of cytokine-treated islets were still significantly diminished. However, protein and DNA synthesis of cytokine-exposed islets returned to pre-exposure levels. In conclusion, high beta cell activity increases islet susceptibility to TNF+IFN. Cytokine-induced, longlasting, inhibitory effects are primarily directed to betacell-specific functions, while general vital cell functions clearly recover after cytokine removal. The induction of certain proteins and the increased protein synthesis and replication rate after cytokine removal might reflect activated repair processes.
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