NADPH oxidase-1 (NOX-1) is upregulated in beta cells in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines. Inhibition of NADPH oxidase activity blocked stimulated NOX-1 expression (p<0.05). Regulation of NOX-1 expression in beta cells followed modulation of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS); pro-oxidants increased NOX-1 (p<0.001) and anti-oxidants decreased NOX-1 (p<0.05). Activation of Src-kinase followed ROS elevation. Inhibition of Src-kinase decreased NOX-1 expression (p<0.01). Beta cell dysfunction, measured by elevated MCP-1 expression, loss of glucose-sensitive insulin secretion or cell death, was induced by pro-inflammatory cytokine stimulation. Importantly, inhibition of Src-kinase or NOX-1 preserved beta cell function and survival. Collectively, these data indicate that expression of NOX-1 in beta cells is regulated in a feed-forward loop mediated by ROS and Src-kinase. Uncoupling of this feed-forward activation could provide new approaches to preserve and protect beta cells in diabetes.
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