Resident macrophages have been suggested to participate in the initiation of beta cell damage during the development of autoimmune diabetes. The purpose of this study was to determine if the endogenous production and release of interleukin 1 (IL-1) in human islets of Langerhans by resident macrophages results in the inhibition of beta cell function. Treatment of human islets with a combination of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) + lipopolysaccharide (LPS) + interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) stimulates inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, nitric oxide production, and inhibits glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. The IL-1 receptor antagonist protein (IRAP) prevents TNF + LPS + IFN-gamma-induced iNOS expression and nitrite production, and attenuates the inhibitory effects on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by human islets. Inhibition of iNOS activity by aminoguanidine also attenuates TNF + LPS + IFN-gamma-induced inhibition of insulin secretion by human islets. These results indicate that the inhibitory effects of TNF + LPS + IFN-gamma are mediated by nitric oxide, produced by the actions of IL-1 released endogenously within human islets. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was used to confirm that TNF + LPS + IFN-gamma stimulates the expression of both IL-1alpha and IL-1beta in human islets. Two forms of evidence indicate that resident macrophages are the human islet cellular source of IL-1: culture conditions that deplete islet lymphoid cells prevent TNF + LPS + IFN-gamma-induced iNOS expression, nitric oxide production, and IL-1 mRNA expression by human islets; and IL-1 and the macrophage surface marker CD69 colocalize in human islets treated with TNF + LPS + IFN-gamma as determined by immunohistochemical analysis. Lastly, nitric oxide production is not required for TNF + LPS + IFN-gamma-induced IL-1 release in human islets. However, cellular damage stimulates IL-1 release by islet macrophages. These findings support the hypothesis that activated islet macrophages may mediate beta cell damage during the development of insulin-dependent diabetes by releasing IL-1 in human islets followed by cytokine-induced iNOS expression by beta cells.
M Arnush, M R Heitmeier, A L Scarim, M H Marino, P T Manning, J A Corbett
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.