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Cell Signal. 2010 May;22(5):791-800. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2010.01.003. Epub 2010 Jan 11.

High glucose induces suppression of insulin signalling and apoptosis via upregulation of endogenous IL-1beta and suppressor of cytokine signalling-1 in mouse pancreatic beta cells.

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Institute of Biology, National Centre for Scientific Research "Demokritos", Athens, Attiki, Greece.


Chronic hyperglycemia and inflammatory cytokines disrupt and/or attenuate signal transduction pathways that promote normal beta-cell survival, leading to the destruction of endocrine pancreas in type 2 diabetes. There is convincing evidence that autocrine insulin signalling exerts protective anti-apoptotic effects on beta cells. Suppressors of cytokine signalling (SOCS) were induced by several cytokines and inhibit insulin-initiated signal transduction. The aim of this study was to investigate whether high glucose can influence endogenous interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and SOCS expression thus affecting insulin signalling and survival in insulin-producing mouse pancreatic beta cells (betaTC-6). Results showed that prolonged exposure of betaTC-6 cells to increased glucose concentrations resulted in significant inhibition of insulin-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor (IR), and insulin receptor substrate-2 (IRS-2) as well as PI3-kinase activation. These changes were accompanied by impaired activation of the anti-apoptotic signalling protein Akt and annulment of Akt-mediated suppression of the Forkhead family of transcription factors (FoxO) activation. Glucose-induced attenuation of IRS-2/Akt-mediated signalling was associated with increased IL-1beta expression. Enhanced endogenous IL-1beta specifically induced mRNA and protein expression of SOCS-1 in betaTC-6 cells. Inhibition of SOCS-1 expression by SOCS-1-specific small interfering RNA restored IRS-2/PI3K-mediated Akt phosphorylation suppressed by high glucose. The upregulation of endogenous cytokine signalling and FoxO activation were accompanied by enhanced caspase-3 activation and increased susceptibility of cells to apoptosis. These results indicated that glucose-induced endogenous IL-1beta expression increased betaTC-6 cells apoptosis by inhibiting, at least in part, IRS-2/Akt-mediated signalling through SOCS-1 upregulation.

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