To enable accurate, high-throughput and longer-term studies of the immunopathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D), we established three in-vitro islet-immune injury models by culturing spheroids derived from primary human islets with proinflammatory cytokines, activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells or HLA-A2-restricted preproinsulin-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. In all models, β-cell function declined as manifested by increased basal and decreased glucose-stimulated insulin release (GSIS), and decreased intracellular insulin content. Additional hallmarks of T1D progression such as loss of the first-phase insulin response (FFIR), increased proinsulin-to-insulin ratios, HLA-class I expression, and inflammatory cytokine release were also observed. Using these models, we show that liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist, prevented loss of GSIS under T1D-relevant stress, by preserving the FFIR and decreasing immune cell infiltration and cytokine secretion. Our results corroborate that liraglutide mediates an anti-inflammatory effect that aids in protecting β-cells from the immune-mediated attack that leads to T1D.
Keywords: Insulin secretion; Liraglutide; Pancreatic beta cell; Pseudoislets; Type 1 diabetes.
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