Sirolimus (SRL) has been associated with new-onset diabetes mellitus after transplantation. The aim was to determine the effect of SRL on development of insulin resistance and β-cell toxicity.Methods
Lean Zucker rat (LZR) and obese Zucker rat (OZR) were distributed into groups: vehicle and SRL (0.25, 0.5, or 1.0 mg/kg) during 12 or 28 days. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT) was evaluated at days 0, 12, 28, and 45. Islet morphometry, β-cell proliferation, and apoptosis were analyzed at 12 days. Islets were isolated to analyze insulin content, insulin secretion, and gene expression.Results
After 12 days, SRL treatment only impaired IPGTT in a dose-dependent manner in OZR. Treatment prolongation induced increase of area under the curve of IPGTT in LZR and OZR; however, in contrast to OZR, LZR normalized glucose levels after 2 hours. The SRL reduced pancreas weight and islet proliferation in LZR and OZR as well as insulin content. Insulin secretion was only affected in OZR. Islets from OZR + SRL rats presented a downregulation of Neurod1, Pax4, and Ins2 gene. Genes related with insulin secretion remained unchanged or upregulated.Conclusions
In conditions that require adaptive β-cell proliferation, SRL might reveal harmful effects by blocking β-cell proliferation, insulin production and secretion. These effects disappeared when removing the therapy.