Exploring the mechanisms through which exercise influences beta cell health in Type 1 diabetes

M. C. Curran, J. C. Campbell, M. D. Drayson, M. G. Gleeson, P. N. Narendran

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Aims: Exercise increases beta cell health in people at risk of and with established Type 2 diabetes. These benefits of exercise have not been characterised in Type 1 diabetes. Over 10% of beta cells are still present at the time of diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes, and exercise has the potential to preserve them. We aimed to explore the mechanisms through which exercise could improve beta cell health in Type 1 diabetes by investigating the effects of exercise serum on apoptosis and proliferation of the MIN6 mouse insulinoma cell line. Methods: Fasted blood was taken from 10 healthy male subjects before and after 40 min of varied unsupervised moderate intensity exercise, and from 11 well-trained male subjects before and after a 9 day intensive cycling exercise training study. Apoptosis was measured in MIN6 (24 h + 100 μM H2O2) by flow cytometry (AnnexinV-FITC, 7-AAD staining). Proliferation of MIN6 was measured using Promega CellTiter 96 Aqueous One Cell proliferation assay daily over 4 days. Experimental cultures were supplemented with 10% of either pre- or post-exercise serum. Results: MIN6 incubated in post-exercise serum showed 6.2% (SD ± pre, 12.88; post, 7.39) reduced apoptosis (p = 0.03) and 9% (SD ± pre, 0.339; post, 0.237) increased proliferation (p = 0.002) compared to those incubated in pre-exercise serum, and further increased proliferation by 43% (SD ± pre, 0.256; post, 0.367) with serum following 9 days' intensive training (p <0.001). Summary: Our results suggest exercise protects beta cells from apoptosis and increases their proliferation. Further benefits of exercise on beta cell health and the mechanisms through which they manifest in Type 1 diabetes need characterisation. This provides a basis to explore exercise as a potential therapy for patients with Type 1 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76
Number of pages1
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • fish oil
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • fluorescein isothiocyanate
  • health
  • insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
  • diabetes mellitus
  • United Kingdom
  • exercise
  • human
  • serum
  • apoptosis
  • male
  • cell proliferation assay
  • therapy
  • staining
  • flow cytometry
  • mouse
  • diagnosis
  • blood
  • insulinoma cell line
  • non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
  • patient
  • risk


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