Anti-inflammatory effects of grape seed procyanidin B2 on a diabetic pancreas
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has increased considerably in recent years, highlighting the importance of developing new therapeutic strategies. Insulin-resistance and gradual dysfunction of pancreatic islets are the mainstay in the progression of T2DM. Therefore, preserving the function of the pancreas may lead to new prospective approaches. Our previous studies suggested that grape seed procyanidin B2 (GSPB2), a natural polyphenol product, exhibited protective effects on diabetic vasculopathy. However, effects of GSPB2 on a diabetic pancreas remain unknown. In this study, we provided strong evidence that GSPB2 exerted protective effects on a diabetic pancreas. GSPB2 attenuated the elevated body weights, food intake and advanced glycation end-product (AGE) levels in db/db mice (p < 0.05), though it had no significant effect on glucose levels. The increased islet sizes, insulin levels, as well as HOMA-IR were also improved by GSPB2 treatment in db/db mice (p < 0.05). Milk fat globule epidermal growth factor-8 (MFG-E8), an estimated target of GSPB2 in our previous studies, was up-regulated in pancreatic tissues whereas GSPB2 treatment down-regulated the protein level (p < 0.05). Since MFG-E8 is highly involved in inflammation, we further investigate pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and NLRP3 levels. We found that levels of IL-1β and NLRP3 increased in a diabetic pancreas while GSPB2 treatment notably attenuated these alterations (p < 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that inflammation is involved in the damage of a diabetic pancreas and GSPB2 provides protective effects at least in part through anti-inflammation.