Résumé : Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune assault that induces progressive beta-cell dysfunction and dead. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1 beta (IL1B), tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interferon gamma (IFNG) contribute for beta-cell death, which involves the activation of the nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Prolactin (PRL), a physiological mediator for beta-cell proliferation, was shown to protect beta cells against cytokines pro-apoptotic effects. We presently investigated the mechanisms involved in the protective effects of prolactin against cytokine-induced beta-cell death. The findings obtained indicate that STAT3 activation is involved in the anti-apoptotic role of PRL in rat beta cells. PRL prevents the activation of JNK via AKT and promotes a shift from expression of pro- to anti-apoptotic proteins downstream of the JNK cascade. Furthermore, PRL partially prevents the activation of NFκB and the transcription of its target genes IkBa, Fas, Mcp1, A20 and Cxcl10 and also decreases NO production. On the other hand, the pro-survival effects of PRL do not involve modulation of cytokine-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress. These results suggest that the beneficial effects of PRL in beta cells involve augmentation of anti-apoptotic mechanisms and, at the same time, reduction of pro-apoptotic effectors, rendering beta cells better prepared to deal with inflammatory insults. The better understanding of the pro-survival mechanisms modulated by PRL in beta cells can provide tools to prevent cell demise during an autoimmune attack or following islet transplantation.