Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Diabetes. 2003 Jan;52(1):93-101.

Improvement of the mitochondrial antioxidant defense status prevents cytokine-induced nuclear factor-kappaB activation in insulin-producing cells.

Author information

Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1beta [IL-1beta], tumor necrosis factor-alpha [TNF-alpha], and gamma-interferon [IFN-gamma]) initiate a variety of signal cascades in pancreatic beta-cells that affect the expression level of genes involved in both the destruction and the protection of the beta-cell. The generation of nitric oxide (NO) via the inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and oxygen free radicals play a key role in cytokine-mediated beta-cell destruction. Within these signal cascades, the activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) is crucial, and many cytokine-sensitive genes contain binding sites for this transcription factor in their promoter regions. The aim of this study was to characterize the cytokine-mediated activation of NF-kappaB and the subsequent expression of iNOS protein in insulin-producing RINm5F cells with an improved antioxidant defense status by overexpression of the cytoprotective enzymes catalase (Cat), glutathione peroxidase (Gpx), and the cytoplasmic Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (Cu/ZnSOD). RINm5F cells with diverse mitochondrial antioxidative defense status were generated by stable overexpression of MnSOD constructs in sense (MnSOD sense) and antisense orientation (MnSOD antisense). Cytokine-induced (IL-1beta or cytokine mix consisting of IL-1beta + TNF-alpha + IFN-gamma) activation of NF-kappaB in RINm5F cells was reduced by >80% through overexpression of MnSOD. The activity of the iNOS promoter remained at basal levels in cytokine-stimulated MnSOD sense cells. In contrast, the suppression of MnSOD gene expression in cytokine-stimulated MnSOD antisense cells resulted in a threefold higher activation of NF-kappaB and a twofold higher activation of the iNOS promoter as compared with control cells. The iNOS protein expression was significantly reduced after a 6- and 8-h cytokine incubation of MnSOD sense cells. The low activity level of MnSOD in RINm5F MnSOD antisense cells increased the iNOS protein expression in particular during the early phase of cytokine-mediated toxicity. Cat, Gpx, and the cytoplasmic Cu/ZnSOD did not affect the activation of NF-kappaB and the iNOS promoter. In conclusion, the overexpression of MnSOD, which inactivates specifically mitochondrially derived oxygen free radicals, significantly reduced the activation of NF-kappaB in insulin-producing cells. As a consequence of this protective effect in the early cytokine signaling pathways, the induction of iNOS, an important event in the beta-cell destruction process, was also significantly reduced. The results provide evidence that mitochondrially derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a critical role in the activation of the cytokine-sensitive transcription factor NF-kappaB. Overexpression of MnSOD may thus be beneficial for beta-cell survival through suppression of oxygen free radical formation, prevention of NF-kappaB activation, and iNOS expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center