Comparison of mRNA contents of interleukin-1 beta and nitric oxide synthase in pancreatic islets isolated from female and male nonobese diabetic mice

Diabetologia. 1995 Feb;38(2):153-60. doi: 10.1007/BF00400089.


Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) has been suggested to mediate beta-cell destruction in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) by inducing nitric oxide production. In this study, we assessed the levels of IL-1 beta and the inducible form of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), using a semi-quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay, and performed determinations of nitrite accumulation and IL-1 beta bioactivity, on pancreatic islets isolated from 5- and 16-week-old female and male nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice and from nondiabetes prone NMRI mice. NOD mouse islets contained notable amounts of IL-1 beta mRNA. At 5 weeks of age, but not at 16 weeks, the values were higher in islets isolated from NOD females compared to males. The IL-1 beta bioactivity showed differences roughly reflecting the mRNA levels in the NOD mouse islets. In the NMRI mouse islets the IL-1 beta bioactivity was very low. The expression of iNOS mRNA increased in both male and female islets between 5 and 16 weeks of age. Immunocytochemistry of pancreatic sections indicated the presence of macrophages especially in the peri-insular area of the NOD mice which suggests that IL-1 beta was produced by macrophages. The levels of IL-1 beta activity and mRNA in freshly isolated islets from NOD 5-weeks-old females did not correlate to the iNOS mRNA content or to the nitrite production. However, after incubation with IL-1 beta in vitro, both NOD and NMRI islets responded with a marked increase in nitric oxide production.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases / analysis*
  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Interleukin-1 / analysis*
  • Interleukin-1 / genetics
  • Islets of Langerhans / chemistry*
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*


  • Interleukin-1
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases