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Arch Physiol Biochem. 2007 Jun;113(3):104-9.

Expression and function of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes in human islets of Langerhans.

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  • 1Beta Cell Development & Function Group, Division of Reproduction & Endocrinology, King's College London, London, UK.


Arachidonic acid (AA) is generated in pancreatic beta-cells through the activation of Ca2+-dependent cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) and the consequent hydrolysis of membrane phospholipids in the sn-2 position of the glycerophospholipid backbone. AA acts as a second messenger in beta-cells to elevate cytosolic Ca2+ levels and stimulate insulin secretion, but it is not clear whether these are direct effects of AA or are dependent on its metabolism by cyclooxygenase (COX) and/or lipoxygenase (LOX) enzymes. In addition, much of the published data in this area have been generated using insulin-secreting cell lines or rodent islets, with very little information on AA generation and metabolism in human islets of Langerhans. This short review examines cPLA2, COX and LOX expression and function in insulin- secreting cell lines and rodent and human islets.

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