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Endocrinology. 2011 Feb;152(2):447-56. doi: 10.1210/en.2010-0790. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

The transcription factor B-cell lymphoma (BCL)-6 modulates pancreatic {beta}-cell inflammatory responses.

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Laboratory of Experimental Medicine, Erasmus Hospital, Universite´ Libre de Bruxelles, 1070 Brussels, Belgium.


Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease with a strong inflammatory component. We have previously shown that expression of the transcriptional repressor B-cell lymphoma (BCL)-6 is very low in pancreatic β-cells, which may favor prolonged proinflammatory responses after exposure to the cytokines IL-1β and interferon γ. Here we investigated whether cytokine-induced inflammation and apoptosis can be prevented in β-cells by BCL-6 expression using plasmid, prolactin, and adenoviral approaches. The induction of mild or abundant BCL-6 expression in β-cells by prolactin or an adenoviral BCL-6 expression construct, respectively, reduced cytokine-induced inflammatory responses in a dose-dependent manner through inhibition of nuclear factor-κB activation. BCL-6 decreased Fas and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and nitric oxide production, but it inhibited the expression of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and JunB while increasing the expression of the proapoptotic death protein 5. The net result of these opposite effects was an augmentation of β-cell apoptosis. In conclusion, BCL-6 expression tones down the unrestrained cytokine-induced proinflammatory response of β-cells but it also favors gene networks leading to apoptosis. This suggests that cytokine-induced proinflammatory and proapoptotic signals can be dissociated in β-cells. Further understanding of these pathways may open new possibilities to improve β-cell survival in early type 1 diabetes or after transplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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