Excessive Food Intake, Obesity and Inflammation Process in Zucker fa/fa Rat Pancreatic Islets

Literature Life Science

Quantification of insulin content and insulin present in islet supernatants performed using HTRF Insulin assay


Inappropriate food intake-related obesity and more importantly, visceral adiposity, are major risk factors for the onset of type 2 diabetes. Evidence is emerging that nutriment-induced beta-cell dysfunction could be related to indirect induction of a state of low grade inflammation. Our aim was to study whether hyperphagia associated obesity could promote an inflammatory response in pancreatic islets leading to ß-cell dysfunction. In the hyperphagic obese insulin resistant male Zucker rat, we measured the level of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines and estimated their production as well as the expression of their receptors in pancreatic tissue and beta-cells. Our main findings concern intra-islet pro-inflammatory cytokines from fa/fa rats: IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNFalpha expressions were increased; IL-1R1 was also over-expressed with a cellular redistribution also observed for IL-6R. To get insight into the mechanisms involved in phenotypic alterations, abArrays were used to determine the expression profile of proteins implicated in different membrane receptors signaling, apoptosis and cell cycle pathways. Despite JNK overexpression, cell viability was unaffected probably because of decreases in cleaved caspase3 as well as in SMAC/DIABLO and APP, involved in the induction and amplification of apoptosis. Concerning beta-cell proliferation, decreases in important cell cycle regulators (Cyclin D1, p35) and increased expression of SMAD4 probably contribute to counteract and restrain hyperplasia in fa/fa rat islets. Finally and probably as a result of IL-1beta and IL-1R1 increased expressions with sub-cellular redistribution of the receptor, islets from fa/fa rats were found more sensitive to both stimulating and inhibitory concentrations of the cytokine; this confers some physiopathological relevance to a possible autocrine regulation of beta-cell function by IL-1beta. These results support the hypothesis that pancreatic islets from prediabetic fa/fa rats undergo an inflammatory process. That the latter could contribute to beta-cell hyperactivity/proliferation and possibly lead to progressive beta-cell failure in these animals, deserves further investigations.


PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e22954

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