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Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2011 Nov;27(8):746-54. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.1246.

Persistent glucose transporter expression on pancreatic beta cells from longstanding type 1 diabetic individuals.

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1
Type 1 Diabetes Center, The La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent reports have established the notion that many patients with longstanding type 1 diabetes (T1D) possess a remnant population of insulin-producing beta cells. It remains questionable, however, whether these surviving cells can physiologically sense and respond to glucose stimuli.

METHODS:

Frozen pancreatic sections from non-diabetic donors (n=8), type 2 diabetic patients (n=4), islet autoantibody-positive non-diabetic patients (n=3), type 1 diabetic patients (n=10) and one case of gestational diabetes were obtained via the network for Pancreatic Organ Donors. All longstanding T1D samples were selected based on the detection of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas by immunohistochemistry. RNA was isolated from all sections followed by cDNA preparation and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction for insulin, glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), GLUT2 and GLUT3. Finally, immunofluorescent staining was performed on consecutive sections for all four of these markers and a comparison was made between the expression of GLUT2 in humans versus NOD mice.

RESULTS:

In contrast to islets from the most widely used T1D model, the NOD mouse, human islets predominantly express GLUT1 and, to a much lesser extent, GLUT3 on their surface instead of GLUT2. Relative expression levels of these receptors do not significantly change in the context of the various (pre-)diabetic conditions studied. Moreover, in both species preservation of GLUT expression was observed even under conditions of substantial leucocyte infiltration or decades of T1D duration.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest that despite being subjected to multiple years of physiological stress, the remaining beta-cell population in longstanding T1D patients retains a capacity to sense glucose via its GLUTs.

PMID:
22069254
DOI:
10.1002/dmrr.1246
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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