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FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Cathelicidins positively regulate pancreatic β-cell functions.


PMID 26527065

Abstract

Cathelicidins are pleiotropic antimicrobial peptides largely described for innate antimicrobial defenses and, more recently, immunomodulation. They are shown to modulate a variety of immune or nonimmune host cell responses. However, how cathelicidins are expressed by β cells and modulate β-cell functions under steady-state or proinflammatory conditions are unknown. We find that cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide (CRAMP) is constitutively expressed by rat insulinoma β-cell clone INS-1 832/13. CRAMP expression is inducible by butyrate or phenylbutyric acid and its secretion triggered upon inflammatory challenges by IL-1β or LPS. CRAMP promotes β-cell survival in vitro via the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and by modulating expression of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins: p-Bad, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xL. Also via EGFR, CRAMP stimulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion ex vivo by rat islets. A similar effect is observed in diabetes-prone nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. Additional investigation under inflammatory conditions reveals that CRAMP modulates inflammatory responses and β-cell apoptosis, as measured by prostaglandin E2 production, cyclooxygenases (COXs), and caspase activation. Finally, CRAMP-deficient cnlp(-/-) mice exhibit defective insulin secretion, and administration of CRAMP to prediabetic NOD mice improves blood glucose clearance upon glucose challenge. Our finding suggests that cathelicidins positively regulate β-cell functions and may be potentially used for intervening β-cell dysfunction-associated diseases.

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