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Diabetologia. 2000 May;43(5):625-31.

Contribution of adenoviral-mediated superoxide dismutase gene transfer to the reduction in nitric oxide-induced cytotoxicity on human islets and INS-1 insulin-secreting cells.

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Institute of Structural Biology, Grenoble, France.



Vulnerability of pancreatic islets to oxygen free radicals and nitric oxide contributes to islet transplantation obstacles. This susceptibility can be linked to the low expression levels of antioxidant enzymes in islets. Our aim was to investigate the effect of overexpressing Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase in human islets through a simple procedure on the cytotoxic effects of two nitric oxide donors: 3-morpholinosydnonimine (SIN-1) and S-Nitroso-N-acetyl-D,L-penicillamine (SNAP).


Cultured human islets and INS-1 rat-derived insulin-secreting cells were transfected by an E1-deleted adenovirus carrying Cu/Zn SOD cDNA under the control of a cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter (AdSOD). The viability of the cells was tested by the WST-1 assay (Roche, Indianapolis, Ind., USA).


The AdSOD procedure allowed SOD activity to increase by twofold to threefold for 2 to 8 days following transfection. Adenovirus-driven SOD overexpression was associated with a significant reduction of SIN-1-induced cytotoxicity on human islets (69.9 +/- 10.5% protection at 200 micromol/l and 40.5 +/- 8.9% protection at 400 micromol/l) and INS-1 cells (82.2 8.8% protection at 200 micromol/l and 31.1 +/- 5.8% protection at 400 micromol/l). Protection against increasing doses of SNAP was AdSOD dose-dependent. Transfected islets released significantly more insulin than control islets in glucose-theophylline-stimulated conditions, without or following exposure to SNAP.


We thus established that adenoviral-induced overexpression of Cu/Zn SOD can be beneficial to human islet endocrine function and resistance to nitric oxide cytotoxicity. These data could be relevant for the development of new strategies aimed at preventing NO-induced beta-cell damage in an islet transplantation setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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