Apoptotic β-cell death appears to be central to the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes mellitus and in islet graft rejection. The β-cell destruction is partially mediated by cytokines, such as IL-1β (interleukin 1β), TNFα (tumour necrosis factor α) and IFN-γ (interferon γ). IL-1β and TNFα mediate activation of the transcription factor NF-κB (nuclear factor κB) pathway. Use of a degradation-resistant NF-κB protein inhibitor (ΔNIκBα), specifically expressed in β-cells, significantly reduced IL-1β+IFN-γ-induced apoptosis. Moreover, in vivo, it protected against multiple low-dose streptozocin-induced diabetes, with reduced intra-islet lymphocytic infiltration. Thus β-cell-specific activation of NF-κB is a key event in the progressive loss of β-cells in diabetes. Inhibition of this process could be a potential effective strategy for β-cell protection.

You do not currently have access to this content.