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Open access

Espen Nordheim, Jørn Petter Lindahl, Rasmus Kirkeskov Carlsen, Anders Åsberg, Kåre Inge Birkeland, Rune Horneland, Birgitte Boye, Hanne Scholz, and Trond Geir Jenssen

Objective

β-cell replacement therapy (βCRT), including pancreas transplantation alone (PTA) and islet transplantation (ITX), is a treatment option for selected type 1 diabetes patients. All potential candidates for βCRT in Norway are referred to one national transplant centre for evaluation before any pre-transplant workup is started. This evaluation was performed by a transplant nephrologist alone prior to 2015 and by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) from 2015. We have reviewed the allocation of patients to treatment modality and the 1-year clinical outcome for the patients after transplantation.

Research design and methods

Medical charts of all patients evaluated for βCRT between 2010 and 2020 in Norway were retrospectively analysed and the outcome of patients receiving βCRT were studied.

Results

One hundred and forty-four patients were assessed for βCRT eligibility between 2010 and 2020. After MDT evaluation was introduced for βCRT eligibility in 2015, the percentage of referred patients accepted for the transplant waiting list fell from 84% to 40% (P < 0.005). One year after transplantation, 73% of the PTA and none of the ITX patients were independent of exogenous insulin, 8% of the PTA and 90% of the ITX patients had partial graft function while 19% of the PTA and 10% of the ITX patients suffered from graft loss.

Conclusion

The acceptance rate for βCRT was significantly reduced during a 10-year observation period and 81% of the PTA and 90% of the ITX patients had partial or normal graft function 1 year post-transplant.

Open access

Sara Ullsten, Sara Bohman, Marie E Oskarsson, K Peter R Nilsson, Gunilla T Westermark, and Per-Ola Carlsson

Islet amyloid and beta cell death in type 2 diabetes are heterogeneous events, where some islets are affected early in the disease process, whereas others remain visibly unaffected. This study investigated the possibility that inter-islet functional and vascular differences may explain the propensity for amyloid accumulation in certain islets. Highly blood-perfused islets were identified by microspheres in human islet amyloid polypeptide expressing mice fed a high-fat diet for three or 10 months. These highly blood-perfused islets had better glucose-stimulated insulin secretion capacity than other islets and developed more amyloid deposits after 10 months of high-fat diet. Similarly, human islets with a superior release capacity formed more amyloid in high glucose culture than islets with a lower release capacity. The amyloid formation in mouse islets was associated with a higher amount of prohormone convertase 1/3 and with a decreased expression of its inhibitor proSAAS when compared to islets with less amyloid. In contrast, levels of prohormone convertase 2 and expression of its inhibitor neuroendocrine protein 7B2 were unaltered. A misbalance in prohormone convertase levels may interrupt the normal processing of islet amyloid polypeptide and induce amyloid formation. Preferential amyloid load in the most blood-perfused and functional islets may accelerate the progression of type 2 diabetes.

Open access

Darling M Rojas-Canales, Michaela Waibel, Aurelien Forget, Daniella Penko, Jodie Nitschke, Fran J Harding, Bahman Delalat, Anton Blencowe, Thomas Loudovaris, Shane T Grey, Helen E Thomas, Thomas W H Kay, Chris J Drogemuller, Nicolas H Voelcker, and Patrick T Coates

Islet transplantation is currently the only minimally invasive therapy available for patients with type 1 diabetes that can lead to insulin independence; however, it is limited to only a small number of patients. Although clinical procedures have improved in the isolation and culture of islets, a large number of islets are still lost in the pre-transplant period, limiting the success of this treatment. Moreover, current practice includes islets being prepared at specialized centers, which are sometimes remote to the transplant location. Thus, a critical point of intervention to maintain the quality and quantity of isolated islets is during transportation between isolation centers and the transplanting hospitals, during which 20–40% of functional islets can be lost. The current study investigated the use of an oxygen-permeable PDMS microwell device for long-distance transportation of isolated islets. We demonstrate that the microwell device protected islets from aggregation during transport, maintaining viability and average islet size during shipping.

Open access

Mai Morsi, Torben Schulze, Eike Früh, Dennis Brüning, Uwe Panten, and Ingo Rustenbeck

Observing different kinetics of nutrient-induced insulin secretion in fresh and cultured islets under the same condition we compared parameters of stimulus secretion coupling in freshly isolated and 22-h-cultured NMRI mouse islets. Stimulation of fresh islets with 30 mM glucose after perifusion without nutrient gave a continuously ascending secretion rate. In 22-h-cultured islets the same protocol produced a brisk first phase followed by a moderately elevated plateau, a pattern regarded to be typical for mouse islets. This was also the response of cultured islets to the nutrient secretagogue alpha-ketoisocaproic acid, whereas the secretion of fresh islets increased similarly fast but remained strongly elevated. The responses of fresh and cultured islets to purely depolarizing stimuli (tolbutamide or KCl), however, were closely similar. Signs of apoptosis and necrosis were rare in both preparations. In cultured islets, the glucose-induced rise of the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration started from a lower value and was larger as was the increase of the ATP/ADP ratio. The prestimulatory level of mitochondrial reducing equivalents, expressed as the NAD(P)H/FAD fluorescence ratio, was lower in cultured islets, but increased more strongly than in fresh islets. When culture conditions were modified by replacing RPMI with Krebs–Ringer medium and FCS with BSA, the amount of released insulin varied widely, but the kinetics always showed a predominant first phase. In conclusion, the secretion kinetics of fresh mouse islets is more responsive to variations of nutrient stimulation than cultured islets. The more uniform kinetics of the latter may be caused by a different use of endogenous metabolites.

Open access

Caio Jordão Teixeira, Junia Carolina Santos-Silva, Dailson Nogueira de Souza, Alex Rafacho, Gabriel Forato Anhe, and Silvana Bordin

Pancreatic islets from pregnant rats develop a transitory increase in the pancreatic β-cell proliferation rate and mass. Increased apoptosis during early lactation contributes to the rapid reversal of those morphological changes. Exposure to synthetic glucocorticoids during pregnancy has been previously reported to impair insulin secretion, but its impacts on pancreatic islet morphological changes during pregnancy and lactation have not been described. To address this issue, we assessed the morphological and molecular characteristics of pancreatic islets from rats that underwent undisturbed pregnancy (CTL) or were treated with dexamethasone between the 14th and 19th days of pregnancy (DEX). Pancreatic islets were analyzed on the 20th day of pregnancy (P20) and on the 3rd, 8th, 14th and 21st days of lactation (L3, L8, L14 and L21, respectively). Pancreatic islets from CTL rats exhibited transitory increases in cellular proliferation and pancreatic β-cell mass at P20, which were reversed at L3, when a transitory increase in apoptosis was observed. This was followed by the appearance of morphological features of pancreatic islet neogenesis at L8. Islets from DEX rats did not demonstrate an increase in apoptosis at L3, which coincided with an increase in the expression of M2 macrophage markers relative to M1 macrophage and T lymphocyte markers. Islets from DEX rats also did not exhibit the morphological characteristics of pancreatic islet neogenesis at L8. Our data demonstrate that maternal pancreatic islets undergo a renewal process during lactation that is impaired by exposure to DEX during pregnancy.

Open access

L Ahlkvist, K Brown, and B Ahrén

We previously demonstrated that the overall incretin effect and the β-cell responsiveness to glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) are increased in insulin-resistant mice and may contribute to the upregulated β-cell function. Now we examined whether this could, first, be explained by increased islet GLP1 receptor (GLP1R) protein levels and, secondly, be leveraged by G-protein-coupled receptor 119 (GPR119) activation, which stimulates GLP1 secretion. Female C57BL/6J mice, fed a control (CD, 10% fat) or high-fat (HFD, 60% fat) diet for 8 weeks, were anesthetized and orally given a GPR119 receptor agonist (GSK706A; 10 mg/kg) or vehicle, followed after 10 min with gavage with a liquid mixed meal (0.285 kcal). Blood was sampled for determination of glucose, insulin, intact GLP1, and glucagon, and islets were isolated for studies on insulin and glucagon secretion and GLP1R protein levels. In HFD vs CD mice, GPR119 activation augmented the meal-induced increase in the release of both GLP1 (AUCGLP1 81±9.6 vs 37±6.9 pM×min, P=0.002) and insulin (AUCINS 253±29 vs 112±19 nM×min, P<0.001). GPR119 activation also significantly increased glucagon levels in both groups (P<0.01) with, however, no difference between the groups. By contrast, GPR119 activation did not affect islet hormone secretion from isolated islets. Glucose elimination after meal ingestion was significantly increased by GPR119 activation in HFD mice (0.57±0.04 vs 0.43±0.03% per min, P=0.014) but not in control mice. Islet GLP1R protein levels was higher in HFD vs CD mice (0.8±0.1 vs 0.5±0.1, P=0.035). In conclusion, insulin-resistant mice display increased islet GLP1R protein levels and augmented meal-induced GLP1 and insulin responses to GPR119 activation, which results in increased glucose elimination. We suggest that the increased islet GLP1R protein levels together with the increased GLP1 release may contribute to the upregulated β-cell function in insulin resistance.

Open access

Xiangyu Gao, Wanwan Sun, Yi Wang, Yawen Zhang, Rumei Li, Jinya Huang, and Yehong Yang

Background

Islet autoantibodies occur in type 2 diabetes. Our study aimed to investigate the prevalence of positive islet autoimmunity in community patients with type 2 diabetes.

Methods

A total of 495 community patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited using the method of cluster sampling in this cross-sectional study. Three islet autoantibodies including glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody (GADA), insulin autoantibody (IAA) and islet cell antibody (ICA) were measured, and clinical characteristics involved in those individuals were evaluated.

Results

The positive rate of islet autoantibodies was 28.5% in total, while combinations of different autoantibodies were rarely seen. Compared with GADA-negative group, positive counterparts significantly tended to have lower levels of body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), and urinary microalbumin (mALB) (P < 0.05). Adjusted for confounding factors, WHR, triglycerides (TG), and mALB seemed to be negative independent predictors of GADA (OR < 1, P < 0.05). Patients with positive IAA tended to receive insulin treatment (P < 0.0001). Besides, fasting blood glucose (FBG), serum levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-CH), aspartate transaminase (AST), and γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) were more likely to be higher in IAA positive subgroup in comparison with the negative counterparts. While after AST was adjusted by unconditional logistic regression analysis, history of insulin treatment, FBG, HDL-CH, and GGT were confirmed as positive predictors of IAA. Furthermore, in patients who were IAA positive, those treated with exogenous insulin tended to have longer duration of diabetes than non-insulin treatment counterparts (P < 0.0001). With regard to ICA, however, there were no significant differences between the two subgroups, except that serum level of AST/ALT seemed to be slightly different (P = 0.064).

Conclusion

These data suggested that type 2 diabetic community patients with positive GADA tended to be lean and were able to maintain normal lipid metabolism, while patients with positivity of IAA were frequently accompanied with insulin treatment and more closely associated with diabetic liver damage.

Open access

Jukka Koffert, Henri Honka, Jarmo Teuho, Saila Kauhanen, Saija Hurme, Riitta Parkkola, Vesa Oikonen, Andrea Mari, Andreas Lindqvist, Nils Wierup, Leif Groop, and Pirjo Nuutila

Objective

Meal ingestion is followed by a redistribution of blood flow (BF) within the splanchnic region contributing to nutrient absorption, insulin secretion and glucose disposal, but factors regulating this phenomenon in humans are poorly known. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the organ-specific changes in BF during a mixed-meal and incretin infusions.

Design

A non-randomized intervention study of 10 healthy adults to study splanchnic BF regulation was performed.

Methods

Effects of glucose-dependent insulinotrophic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) infusions and mixed-meal were tested in 10 healthy, glucose tolerant subjects using PET-MRI multimodal imaging technology. Intestinal and pancreatic BF and blood volume (BV) were measured with 15O-water and 15O-carbon monoxide, respectively.

Results

Ingestion of a mixed-meal led to an increase in pancreatic and jejunal BF, whereas duodenal BF was unchanged. Infusion of GIP and GLP-1 reduced BF in the pancreas. However, GIP infusion doubled blood flow in the jejunum with no effect of GLP-1.

Conclusion

Together, our data suggest that meal ingestion leads to increases in pancreatic BF accompanied by a GIP-mediated increase in jejunal but not duodenal blood flow.

Open access

Zi-Di Xu, Wei Zhang, Min Liu, Huan-Min Wang, Pei-Pei Hui, Xue-Jun Liang, Jie Yan, Yu-Jun Wu, Yan-Mei Sang, Cheng Zhu, and Gui-Chen Ni

This study aims to summarize and analyze the clinical manifestations, genetic characteristics, treatment modalities and long-term prognosis of congenital hyperinsulinemia (CHI) in Chinese children. Sixty children with CHI, who were treated at Beijing Children’s Hospital from January 2014 to August 2017, and their families, were selected as subjects. The CHI-related causative genes in children were sequenced and analyzed using second-generation sequencing technology. Furthermore, the genetic pathogenesis and clinical characteristics of Chinese children with CHI were explored. Among the 60 CHI children, 27 children (27/60, 45%) carried known CHI-related gene mutations: 16 children (26.7%) carried ABCC8 gene mutations, seven children (11.7%) carried GLUD1 gene mutations, one child carried GCK gene mutations, two children carried HNF4α gene mutations and one child carried HADH gene mutations. In these 60 patients, eight patients underwent 18F-L-DOPA PET scan for the pancreas, and five children were found to be focal type. The treatment of diazoxide was ineffective in these five patients, and hypoglycemia could be controlled after receiving partial pancreatectomy. In conclusion, ABCC8 gene mutation is the most common cause of CHI in Chinese children. The early genetic analysis of children’s families has an important guiding significance for treatment planning and prognosis assessment.

Open access

Paraskevi Kazakou, Stavroula A Paschou, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Maria Gavriatopoulou, Eleni Korompoki, Katerina Stefanaki, Fotini Kanouta, Georgia N Kassi, Meletios-Athanasios Dimopoulos, and Asimina Mitrakou

Endocrine system plays a vital role in controlling human homeostasis. Understanding the possible effects of COVID-19 on endocrine glands is crucial to prevent and manage endocrine disorders before and during hospitalization in COVID-19-infected patients as well as to follow them up properly upon recovery. Many endocrine glands such as pancreas, hypothalamus and pituitary, thyroid, adrenal glands, testes, and ovaries have been found to express angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors, the main binding site of the virus. Since the pandemic outbreak, various publications focus on the aggravation of preexisting endocrine diseases by COVID-19 infection or the adverse prognosis of the disease in endocrine patients. However, data on endocrine disorders both during the phase of the infection (early complications) and upon recovery (late complications) are scarce. The aim of this review is to identify and discuss early and late endocrine complications of COVID-19. The majority of the available data refer to glucose dysregulation and its reciprocal effect on COVID-19 infection with the main interest focusing on the presentation of new onset of diabetes mellitus. Thyroid dysfunction with low triiodothyronine, low thyroid stimulating hormone, or subacute thyroiditis has been reported. Adrenal dysregulation and impaired spermatogenesis in affected men have been also reported. Complications of other endocrine glands are still not clear. Considering the recent onset of COVID-19 infection, the available follow-up data are limited, and therefore, long-term studies are required to evaluate certain effects of COVID-19 on the endocrine glands.