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Mol Ther. 2007 Jan;15(1):86-93.

Prolonged remission of diabetes by regeneration of beta cells in diabetic mice treated with recombinant adenoviral vector expressing glucagon-like peptide-1.

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Rosalind Franklin Comprehensive Diabetes Center and Department of Pathology, Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Type 1 diabetes results from insulin deficiency caused by destruction of pancreatic beta cells. Glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 stimulates beta cell growth and differentiation. To determine whether continuous expression of GLP-1 in vivo can regenerate beta cells and remit type 1 diabetes in mice for a prolonged time, we constructed an adenoviral vector containing the cytomegalovirus promoter/enhancer and albumin leader sequence followed by GLP-1 cDNA (rAd-GLP-1). A single administration of rAd-GLP-1 via the tail vein into streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient (NOD/SCID) mice resulted in remission of diabetes within 10 days; normoglycemia remained until the experiment was terminated. The number of insulin-positive cells in the pancreas and insulin secretion significantly increased in rAd-GLP-1-treated mice compared with STZ-induced diabetic mice treated with rAd-beta-galactosidase. Glucose tolerance tests in mice that achieved normoglycemia after treatment with rAd-GLP-1 showed that the kinetics of glucose clearance was similar to normal NOD/SCID mice. Treatment of autoimmune diabetic mice with rAd-GLP-1 restored normoglycemia, which was maintained for 1 year when mice were also treated with an immunoregulator to halt the autoimmune response to beta cells. We suggest that regeneration of insulin-producing cells by GLP-1 gene therapy may be a potential method for prolonged control of type 1 diabetes in humans.

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