Brusatol is a natural terpenoid that is capable of inducing a variety of biological effects. We presently report that this substance dramatically improves beta-cell survival when exposed to pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and IFNγ) in vitro. This was observed in insulin producing rat (RIN-5AH), mouse (βTC6) and human (EndoC-βH1) beta-cell lines. Brusatol prevented beta-cell oxidative stress in response to cytokines and counteracted induction of iNOS on the protein level. Brusatol, however, block neither the cytokine-induced increase of iNOS mRNA, nor NF-κB activation, suggesting that inhibition of iNOS protein expression relies on posttranscriptional mechanism. This indicates that brusatol acts via a novel protective pathway, which may represent a more promising way of improving beta-cell function and survival.
Keywords: Beta-cells; Brusatol; Cytokines; Oxidative stress; iNOS.
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