Aims/hypothesis: Acute or chronic exposure of beta cells to glucose, palmitic acid or pro-inflammatory cytokines will result in increased production of the p47(phox) component of the NADPH oxidase and subsequent production of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Methods: Rat pancreatic islets or clonal rat BRIN BD11 beta cells were incubated in the presence of glucose, palmitic acid or pro-inflammatory cytokines for periods between 1 and 24 h. p47(phox) production was determined by western blotting. ROS production was determined by spectrophotometric nitroblue tetrazolium or fluorescence-based hydroethidine assays.
Results: Incubation for 24 h in 0.1 mmol/l palmitic acid or a pro-inflammatory cytokine cocktail increased p47(phox) protein production by 1.5-fold or by 1.75-fold, respectively, in the BRIN BD11 beta cell line. In the presence of 16.7 mmol/l glucose protein production of p47(phox) was increased by 1.7-fold in isolated rat islets after 1 h, while in the presence of 0.1 mmol/l palmitic acid or 5 ng/ml IL-1beta it was increased by 1.4-fold or 1.8-fold, respectively. However, palmitic acid or IL-1beta-dependent production was reduced after 24 h. Islet ROS production was significantly increased after incubation in elevated glucose for 1 h and was completely abolished by addition of diphenylene iodonium, an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase or by the oligonucleotide anti-p47(phox). Addition of 0.1 mmol/l palmitic acid or 5 ng/ml IL-1beta plus 5.6 mmol/l glucose also resulted in a significant increase in islet ROS production after 1 h, which was partially attenuated by diphenylene iodonium or the protein kinase C inhibitor GF109203X. However, ROS production was reduced after 24 h incubation.
Conclusions/interpretation: NADPH oxidase may play a key role in normal beta cell physiology, but under specific conditions may also contribute to beta cell demise.