12-Lipoxygenase Products Reduce Insulin Secretion and {beta}-Cell Viability in Human Islets

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Feb;95(2):887-93. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-1102. Epub 2010 Jan 20.


Context: Inflammation is increasingly recognized as an important contributing factor in diabetes mellitus. Lipoxygenases (LOs) produce active lipids that promote inflammatory damage by catalyzing the oxidation of linoleic and arachidonic acid, and LO is expressed in rodent and human islets. Little is known about the differential effect of the various hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (HETEs) that result from LO activity in human islets.

Objective: We compared the effects of 12-LO products on human islet viability and function.

Design: Human islets were treated with stable compounds derived from LOs: 12(S)-HETE, 15HETE, 12HPETE, and 12RHETE and then examined for insulin secretion and islet viability. The p38-MAPK (p38) and JNK stress-activated pathways were investigated as mechanisms of 12-LO-mediated islet inhibition in rodent and human islets.

Results: Insulin secretion was consistently reduced by 12(S)-HETE and 12HPETE. 12(S)-HETE at 1 nm reduced viability activity by 32% measured by MTT assay and increased cell death by 50% at 100 nm in human islets. These effects were partially reversed with lisofylline, a small-molecule antiinflammatory compound that protects mitochondrial function. 12(S)-HETE increased phosphorylated p38-MAPK (pp38) protein activity in human islets. Injecting 12-LO siRNA into C57BL/6 mice reduced 12-LO and pp38-MAPK protein levels in mouse islets. The addition of proinflammatory cytokines increased pp38 levels in normal mouse islets but not in siRNA-treated islets.

Conclusions: These data suggest that 12(S)-HETE reduces insulin secretion and increases cell death in human islets. The 12-LO pathway is present in human islets, and expression is up-regulated by inflammatory cytokines. Reduction of 12-LO activity could thus provide a new therapeutic approach to protect human beta-cells from inflammatory injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • 12-Hydroxy-5,8,10,14-eicosatetraenoic Acid / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Arachidonate 12-Lipoxygenase / physiology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Pentoxifylline / analogs & derivatives
  • Pentoxifylline / pharmacology
  • Phosphorylation
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • 12-Hydroxy-5,8,10,14-eicosatetraenoic Acid
  • Arachidonate 12-Lipoxygenase
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • lisofylline
  • Pentoxifylline