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Diabetologia. 2008 Oct;51(10):1873-82. doi: 10.1007/s00125-008-1090-0. Epub 2008 Jul 22.

Suppressor of cytokine signalling-3 expression inhibits cytokine-mediated destruction of primary mouse and rat pancreatic islets and delays allograft rejection.

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Steno Diabetes Centre, Niels Steensens Vej 6, Gentofte, Denmark.



The pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and IFNgamma are critical molecules in immune-mediated beta cell destruction leading to type 1 diabetes mellitus. Suppressor of cytokine signalling (SOCS)-3 inhibits the cytokine-mediated destruction of insulinoma-1 cells. Here we investigate the effect of SOCS3 in primary rodent beta cells and diabetic animal models.


Using mice with beta cell-specific Socs3 expression and a Socs3-encoding adenovirus construct, we characterised the protective effect of SOCS3 in mouse and rat islets subjected to cytokine stimulation. In transplantation studies of NOD mice and alloxan-treated mice the survival of Socs3 transgenic islets was investigated.


Socs3 transgenic islets showed significant resistance to cytokine-induced apoptosis and impaired insulin release. Neither glucose-stimulated insulin release, insulin content or glucose oxidation were affected by SOCS3. Rat islet cultures transduced with Socs3-adenovirus displayed reduced cytokine-induced nitric oxide and apoptosis associated with inhibition of the IL-1-induced nuclear factor-kappaB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. Transplanted Socs3 transgenic islets were not protected in diabetic NOD mice, but showed a prolonged graft survival when transplanted into diabetic allogenic BALB/c mice.


SOCS3 inhibits IL-1-induced signalling through the nuclear factor-kappaB and MAPK pathways and apoptosis induced by cytokines in primary beta cells. Moreover, Socs3 transgenic islets are protected in an allogenic transplantation model. SOCS3 may represent a target for pharmacological or genetic engineering in islet transplantation for treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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