Different islet protein expression profiles during spontaneous diabetes development vs. allograft rejection in BB-DP rats

Ulla Bjerre Christensen, Peter Mose Larsen, Stephen Fey, Allan E Karlsen, Flemming Pociot, Jörn Nerup, Thomas Sparre

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3 Citations (SciVal)


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is characterized by selective autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing beta-cells in the islets of Langerhans. When the beta-cells are destroyed exogenous administration of insulin is necessary for maintenance of glucose homeostasis. Allogeneic islet transplantation has been used as a means to circumvent the need for insulin administration and has in some cases been able to restore endogenous insulin production for years. However, long life immunosuppression is needed to prevent the graft from being rejected and destroyed. Changes in protein expression pattern during spontaneous diabetes development in the diabetes prone BioBreeding rat (BB-DP) have previously been described. In the present study, we have investigated if any of the changes seen in the protein expression pattern during spontaneous diabetes development are also present during allograft rejection of BB-DP rat islets. Two hundred neonatal islets were syngeneically transplanted under the kidney capsule of 30 day old BB-DP rats and removed prior to and at onset of diabetes. Allogeneically transplanted islets from BB-DP rats were removed before onset of allograft rejection and at maximal islet graft inflammation (rejection). The protein expression profiles of the transplants were visualised by two-dimensional gel (2-DG) electrophoresis, analysed and compared. In total, 2590 protein spots were visualised and of these 310 changed expression ( p < 0.01) in syngeneic islet transplants in the BB-DP rats from 7 days after transplantation until onset of diabetes. In BB-DP islets transplanted to WK rats 53 protein spots ( p < 0.01) showed changes in expression when comparing islet grafts removed 7 days after transplantation with islet grafts removed 12 days after transplantation where mononuclear cell infiltration is at its maximum. Only four protein spots (1%) were significantly changed in both syngeneic (autoimmune) and allogeneic islet destruction. When comparing protein expression changes in syngeneic BB-DP islet transplants from 37 days after transplantation to onset of diabetes with protein expression changes in allografts from day 7 to 12 after transplantation only three spot were found to commonly change expression in both situations. In conclusion, a large number of protein expression changes were detected in both autoimmune islet destruction and allogeneic islet rejection, only two overlaps were detected, suggesting that autoimmune islet destruction and allogeneic islet rejection may result from different target cell responses to signals induced by the cellular infiltrate. Whether this reflects activation of distinct signalling pathways in islet cells is currently unknown and need to be further investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-321
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


  • diabetes prone BioBreeding rat
  • islet transplantation
  • protein expression
  • diabetes
  • allograft
  • proteomics


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