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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mouse vanin-1 is cytoprotective for islet beta cells and regulates the development of type 1 diabetes.

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Islet cell death is a key initiating and perpetuating event in type 1 diabetes and involves both immune-mediated and endogenous mechanisms. The epithelial pantetheinase vanin-1 is proinflammatory and cytoprotective via cysteamine release in some tissues. We investigated the impact of a vanin-1 deficiency on islet death and type 1 diabetes incidence. METHODS: Vanin-1-deficient mice were produced and tested in drug-induced and autoimmune diabetes models. The contribution of vanin-1 to islet survival versus immune responses was evaluated using lymphocyte transfer and islet culture experiments. RESULTS: The vanin-1/cysteamine pathway contributes to the protection of islet beta cells from streptozotocin-induced death in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, vanin-1-deficient NOD mice showed a significant aggravation of diabetes, which depended upon loss of vanin-1 expression by host tissues. This increased islet fragility was accompanied by greater CD4+ insulitis without impairment of regulatory cells. Addition of cystamine, the product of pantetheinase activity, protected islets in vitro and compensated for vanin-1 deficiency in vivo. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: This study unravels a major cytoprotective role of cysteamine for islet cells and suggests that modulation of pantetheinase activity may offer alternative strategies to maintain islet cell homeostasis.[1]


  1. Mouse vanin-1 is cytoprotective for islet beta cells and regulates the development of type 1 diabetes. Roisin-Bouffay, C., Castellano, R., Valéro, R., Chasson, L., Galland, F., Naquet, P. Diabetologia (2008) [Pubmed]
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