Interleukin-1 beta induces the expression of hsp70, heme oxygenase and Mn-SOD in FACS-purified rat islet beta-cells, but not in alpha-cells

Immunol Lett. 1995 Dec;48(2):145-8. doi: 10.1016/0165-2478(95)02459-x.


The cytokine IL-1 beta has previously been demonstrated to induce the expression of the stress genes iNOS, hsp70, heme oxygenase and Mn-SOD in rat pancreatic islets in vitro. The aim of this study was to determine whether the IL-1 beta-induced effects are specific for the insulin producing beta-cell, or whether other islet cells, such as the glucagon-producing alpha-cell, respond to IL-1 beta addition. Purified rat alpha- and beta-cell suspensions were obtained by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and incubated with or without IL-1 beta (25 U/ml) for 24 h. The alpha- and beta-cell contents of hsp70, heme oxygenase and Mn-SOD and medium nitrite levels were determined. It was found that IL-1 beta exposure induced the production of nitric oxide in beta-cells, but not in alpha-cells. Moreover, the expression of hsp70, heme oxygenase and Mn-SOD was also induced in beta-cells, but not in alpha-cells. There were no detectable levels of hsp70 in alpha-cells. It is concluded that the stress gene response following IL-1 beta exposure is markedly different in alpha- and beta-cells. This finding may be of importance for the understanding of the autoimmune destruction of beta-cells in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Separation
  • Enzyme Induction / immunology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / drug effects
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / biosynthesis*
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / drug effects
  • Immunoblotting
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Superoxide Dismutase / biosynthesis*


  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Interleukin-1
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
  • Superoxide Dismutase