High Expression Rates of Human Islet Amyloid Polypeptide Induce Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress–Mediated β-Cell Apoptosis, a Characteristic of Humans With Type 2 but Not Type 1 Diabetes

  1. Chang-jiang Huang1,
  2. Chia-yu Lin1,
  3. Leena Haataja1,
  4. Tatyana Gurlo1,
  5. Alexandra E. Butler1,
  6. Robert A. Rizza2 and
  7. Peter C. Butler1
  1. 1Larry Hillblom Islet Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
  2. 2Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo Medical College, Rochester, Minnesota
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Peter C. Butler, Larry Hillblom Islet Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024-2852. E-mail: pbutler{at}mednet.ucla.edu


OBJECTIVE—Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress–induced apoptosis may be a common cause of cell attrition in diseases characterized by misfolding and oligomerisation of amyloidogenic proteins. The islet in type 2 diabetes is characterized by islet amyloid derived from islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) and increased β-cell apoptosis. We questioned the following: 1) whether IAPP-induced β-cell apoptosis is mediated by ER stress and 2) whether β-cells in type 2 diabetes are characterized by ER stress.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—The mechanism of IAPP-induced apoptosis was investigated in INS-1 cells and human IAPP (HIP) transgenic rats. ER stress in humans was investigated by β-cell C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) expression in 7 lean nondiabetic, 12 obese nondiabetic, and 14 obese type 2 diabetic human pancreata obtained at autopsy. To assure specificity for type 2 diabetes, we also examined pancreata from eight cases of type 1 diabetes.

RESULTS—IAPP induces β-cell apoptosis by ER stress in INS-1 cells and HIP rats. Perinuclear CHOP was rare in lean nondiabetic (2.6 ± 2.0%) and more frequent in obese nondiabetic (14.6 ± 3.0%) and obese diabetic (18.5 ± 3.6%) pancreata. Nuclear CHOP was not detected in lean nondiabetic and rare in obese nondiabetic (0.08 ± 0.04%) but six times higher (P < 0.01) in obese diabetic (0.49 ± 0.17%) pancreata. In type 1 diabetic pancreata, perinuclear CHOP was rare (2.5 ± 2.3%) and nuclear CHOP not detected.

CONCLUSIONS—ER stress is a mechanism by which IAPP induces β-cell apoptosis and is characteristic of β-cells in humans with type 2 diabetes but not type 1 diabetes. These findings are consistent with a role of protein misfolding in β-cell apoptosis in type 2 diabetes.


  • Published ahead of print at http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org on 2 May 2007. DOI: 10.2337/db07-0197.

  • The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Accepted April 10, 2007.
    • Received February 12, 2007.
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  1. Diabetes vol. 56 no. 8 2016-2027
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