Background: The expression of interleukin-1-receptor antagonist is reduced in pancreatic islets of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, and high glucose concentrations induce the production of interleukin-1beta in human pancreatic beta cells, leading to impaired insulin secretion, decreased cell proliferation, and apoptosis.
Methods: In this double-blind, parallel-group trial involving 70 patients with type 2 diabetes, we randomly assigned 34 patients to receive 100 mg of anakinra (a recombinant human interleukin-1-receptor antagonist) subcutaneously once daily for 13 weeks and 36 patients to receive placebo. At baseline and at 13 weeks, all patients underwent an oral glucose-tolerance test, followed by an intravenous bolus of 0.3 g of glucose per kilogram of body weight, 0.5 mg of glucagon, and 5 g of arginine. In addition, 35 patients underwent a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp study. The primary end point was a change in the level of glycated hemoglobin, and secondary end points were changes in beta-cell function, insulin sensitivity, and inflammatory markers.
Results: At 13 weeks, in the anakinra group, the glycated hemoglobin level was 0.46 percentage point lower than in the placebo group (P=0.03); C-peptide secretion was enhanced (P=0.05), and there were reductions in the ratio of proinsulin to insulin (P=0.005) and in levels of interleukin-6 (P<0.001) and C-reactive protein (P=0.002). Insulin resistance, insulin-regulated gene expression in skeletal muscle, serum adipokine levels, and the body-mass index were similar in the two study groups. Symptomatic hypoglycemia was not observed, and there were no apparent drug-related serious adverse events.
Conclusions: The blockade of interleukin-1 with anakinra improved glycemia and beta-cell secretory function and reduced markers of systemic inflammation. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00303394 [ClinicalTrials.gov].).
Copyright 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.