Send to

Choose Destination
Endocrinology. 2013 Sep;154(9):3077-88. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-2138. Epub 2013 Jul 8.

Circulating levels of IL-1B+IL-6 cause ER stress and dysfunction in islets from prediabetic male mice.

Author information

University of Virginia, Department of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


Elevated levels of circulating proinflammatory cytokines are associated with obesity and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but the mechanism is unknown. We tested whether proinflammatory cytokines IL-1B+IL-6 at low picogram per milliliter concentrations (consistent with serum levels) could directly trigger pancreatic islet dysfunction. Overnight exposure to IL-1B+IL-6 in islets isolated from normal mice and humans disrupted glucose-stimulated intracellular calcium responses; cytokine-induced effects were more severe among islets from prediabetic db/db mice that otherwise showed no signs of dysfunction. IL-1B+IL-6 exposure reduced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium storage, activated ER stress responses (Nos2, Bip, Atf4, and Ddit3 [CHOP]), impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, and increased cell death only in islets from prediabetic db/db mice. Furthermore, we found increased serum levels of IL-1B and IL-6 in diabetes-prone mice at an age before hyperglycemia was exhibited, suggesting that low-grade systemic inflammation develops early in the disease process. In addition, we implanted normal outbred and inbred mice with subcutaneous osmotic mini-pumps containing IL-1B+IL-6 to mimic the serum increases found in prediabetic db/db mice. Both IL-1B and IL-6 were elevated in serum from cytokine-pump mice, but glucose tolerance and blood glucose levels did not differ from controls. However, when compared with controls, isolated islets from cytokine-pump mice showed deficiencies in calcium handling and insulin secretion that were similar to observations with islets exposed to cytokines in vitro. These findings provide proof of principle that low-grade systemic inflammation is present early in the development of type 2 diabetes and can trigger ER stress-mediated islet dysfunction that can lead to islet failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center