Culture of mouse pancreatic islets in different glucose concentrations modifies B cell sensitivity to streptozotocin

Diabetologia. 1988 Mar;31(3):168-74. doi: 10.1007/BF00276851.


There have previously been divergent data published regarding the effects of glucose on the diabetogenic effects of streptozotocin. In order to further explore this issue, two separate sets of experiments were performed. In the first, mouse pancreatic islets were maintained in culture for 3 days at different glucose concentrations (5.6, 11.1 and 28 mmol/l) and then exposed to streptozotocin. After another 3 days in culture at 11.1 mmol/l glucose, the B cell function was evaluated by measurement of glucose-stimulated insulin release, the number of islets recovered after culture, and the islet DNA and insulin contents. In the second group of experiments islets were first maintained in culture at 11.1 mmol/l glucose, then treated with streptozotocin and subsequently cultured for 6 days at the different glucose concentrations given above. It was found that islets maintained in a medium containing 28 mmol/l glucose before or after streptozotocin exposure showed less signs of damage than islets cultured in 11.1 mmol/l glucose. A similar, but less pronounced, decreased sensitivity to streptozotocin was found in islets precultured in 5.6 mmol/l glucose, in comparison with those islets cultured in 11.1 mmol/l glucose. Culture at 5.6 mmol/l glucose just after streptozotocin treatment did not induce any improvement in islet survival or function. It is suggested that the increased damage induced by streptozotocin to islets precultured at 11.1 mmol/l glucose, in comparison with 5.6 mmol/l glucose, can be related to the fact that an increased metabolic activity of B cells render them more susceptible to the toxin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA / analysis
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Streptozocin / toxicity*


  • Insulin
  • Streptozocin
  • DNA
  • Glucose