Dextran Sulfate Protects Pancreatic β-Cells, Reduces Autoimmunity and Ameliorates Type 1 Diabetes
figureposted on 07.05.2020 by Ada Admin, Geming Lu, Francisco Rausell-Palamos, Jiamin Zhang, Zihan Zheng, Tuo Zhang, Shelley Valle, Carolina Rosselot, Cecilia Berrouet, Patricia Conde, Matthew P. Spindler, John G. Graham, Dirk Homann, Adolfo Garcia-Ocaña
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A failure in self-tolerance leads to autoimmune destruction of pancreatic β-cells and type 1 diabetes (T1D). Low molecular weight dextran sulfate (DS) is a sulfated semi-synthetic polysaccharide with demonstrated cytoprotective and immunomodulatory properties in vitro. However, whether DS can protect pancreatic β-cells, reduce autoimmunity and ameliorate T1D is unknown. Here we report that DS, but not dextran, protects human β-cells against cytokine-mediated cytotoxicity in vitro. DS also protects mitochondrial function and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and reduces chemokine expression in human islets in a pro-inflammatory environment. Interestingly, daily treatment with DS significantly reduces diabetes incidence in pre-diabetic non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, and most importantly, reverses diabetes in early-onset diabetic NOD mice. DS decreases β-cell death, enhances islet heparan sulfate (HS)/heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) expression and preserves β-cell mass and plasma insulin in these mice. DS administration also increases the expression of the inhibitory co-stimulatory molecule programmed death-1 (PD-1) in T-cells, reduces interferon-γ+ CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and enhances the number of FoxP3+ cells. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that the action of one single molecule, DS, on β-cell protection, extracellular matrix preservation and immunomodulation can reverse diabetes in NOD mice highlighting its therapeutic potential for the treatment of T1D.