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Pflugers Arch. 2012 Feb;463(2):377-90. doi: 10.1007/s00424-011-1047-x. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

Does NAD(P)H oxidase-derived H2O2 participate in hypotonicity-induced insulin release by activating VRAC in β-cells?

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Physiology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Campus Erasme, CP 611. Room E1.6.214, Route de Lennik, 808, 1070, Bruxelles, Belgium.


NAD(P)H oxidase (NOX)-derived H(2)O(2) was recently proposed to act, in several cells, as the signal mediating the activation of volume-regulated anion channels (VRAC) under a variety of physiological conditions. The present study aims at investigating whether a similar situation prevails in insulin-secreting BRIN-BD11 and rat β-cells. Exogenous H(2)O(2) (100 to 200 μM) at basal glucose concentration (1.1 to 2.8 mM) stimulated insulin secretion. The inhibitor of VRAC, 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)-benzoate (NPPB) inhibited the secretory response to exogenous H(2)O(2). In patch clamp experiments, exogenous H(2)O(2) was observed to stimulate NPPB-sensitive anion channel activity, which induced cell membrane depolarization. Exposure of the BRIN-BD11 cells to a hypotonic medium caused a detectable increase in intracellular level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that was abolished by diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI), a universal NOX inhibitor. NOX inhibitors such as DPI and plumbagin nearly totally inhibited insulin release provoked by exposure of the BRIN-BD11 cells to a hypotonic medium. Preincubation with two other drugs also abolished hypotonicity-induced insulin release and reduced basal insulin output: 1) N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), a glutathione precursor that serves as general antioxidant and 2) betulinic acid a compound that almost totally abolished NOX4 expression. As NPPB, each of these inhibitors (DPI, plumbagin, preincubation with NAC or betulinic acid) strongly reduced the volume regulatory decrease observed following a hypotonic shock, providing an independent proof that VRAC activation is mediated by H(2)O(2). Taken together, these data suggest that NOX-derived H(2)O(2) plays a key role in the insulin secretory response of BRIN-BD11 and native β-cells to extracellular hypotonicity.

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