Substitution of pancreatic islets is a potential therapy to treat diabetes and it depends on reconstitution of islet's capillary network. In this study, we addressed the question whether stabilization of Glucagon-Like-Peptide-1 (GLP-1) by inhibiting Dipeptidyl Peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) increases β-cell mass by modulating vascularization. Mouse or porcine donor islets were implanted under kidney capsule of diabetic mice treated with DPP-IV inhibitor sitagliptin. Grafts were analyzed for insulin production, β-cell proliferation and vascularization. In addition, the effect of sitagliptin on sprouting and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)-A expression was examined ex vivo. The cAMP response element-binding (CREB) and VEGF-A/Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor (VEGFR)-2 signaling pathway leading to islet vascularization was explored. Sitagliptin increased mean insulin content of islet grafts and area of insulin-positive tissue as well as β-cell proliferation. Interestingly, sitagliptin treatment also markedly increased endothelial cell proliferation, microvessel density and blood flow. Finally, GLP-1 (7-36) stimulated sprouting and VEGF expression, which was significantly enhanced by sitagliptin- mediated inhibition of DPP-IV. Our in vivo data demonstrate that sitagliptin treatment phosphorylated CREB and induced islet vascularization through VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 signaling pathway. This study paves a new pathway for improvement of islet transplantation in treating diabetes mellitus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)