Aims: Pancreatic β-cell apoptosis may be involved in the onset and progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus, although its mechanism remains unclear. We previously demonstrated that macrophage-derived interferon (IFN) β induced X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis–associated factor 1 (XAF1) expression in β-cells and accelerated β-cell apoptosis in vitro. Here, we explored the effects of XAF1 on β-cell function and progression of diabetes in vivo. Methods: Pancreatic β-cell-selective XAF1 overexpressing (Xaf1 Tg) mice were generated. Xaf1 Tg mice and their wild-type (WT) littermates were fed either a normal diet or a 40% or 60% high-fat diet (HFD). The effects of β-cell XAF1 on β-cell apoptosis and exacerbation of diabetes were investigated. Results: Palmitic acid induced IFNβ expression in macrophages, and HFD intake promoted macrophage infiltration in pancreatic islets, both of which cooperatively upregulated XAF1 expression in mouse islets. Furthermore, HFD-fed Xaf1 Tg mice demonstrated increased β-cell apoptosis, lowered insulin expression, and impaired glucose tolerance compared with WT mice fed the same diet. These effects were more pronounced in the 60%HFD group than in the 40%HFD group. Conclusions: Pancreatic β-cell XAF1 expression was enhanced via HFD-induced, macrophage-derived IFNβ, which promoted β-cell apoptosis and led to a reduction in insulin secretion and progression of diabetes. To our knowledge, this is the first report to demonstrate an association between pancreatic β-cell XAF1 overexpression and exacerbation of diabetes, thus providing insight into the mechanism of β-cell mass reduction in diabetes.
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