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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jun 19;98(13):7475-80. Epub 2001 Jun 12.

Evidence for a circulating islet cell growth factor in insulin-resistant states.

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  • 1Research Division, Joslin Diabetes Center, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Insulin resistance is a feature of many common disorders including obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In these disorders, the beta-cells compensate for the insulin resistance for long periods of time with an increase in secretory capacity, an increase in beta-cell mass, or both. To determine whether the beta-cell response might relate to a circulating growth factor, we have transplanted normal islets under the kidney capsule of normoglycemic insulin-resistant mice with two different models of insulin resistance: lean mice that have a double heterozygous deletion of the insulin receptor and insulin receptor substrate-1 (DH) or the obese, hyperglycemic ob/ob mice. In the grafts transplanted into both hosts, there was a marked increase in beta-cell mitotic activity and islet mass that was comparable with that observed in the endogenous pancreas. By contrast, islets of the DH mouse transplanted into normal mice showed reduced mitotic index. These data suggest the insulin resistance is associated with a circulating islet cell growth factor that is independent of glucose and obesity.

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