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Am J Transplant. 2007 Jan;7(1):38-47.

Quantification of basal and stimulated ROS levels as predictors of islet potency and function.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Surgery, UW Hospital & Clinics, H5/301, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI, USA.


We have developed a luminol-based assay using intact islets, which allows for quantification of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In addition, an index capable of characterizing metabolic and mitochondrial integrity prior to transplantation was created based on the capacity of islets to respond to high glucose and rotenone (mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I inhibitor) by production of ROS. To validate this assay, lipid peroxidation and antioxidative defense capacity were evaluated by detection of malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and glutathione peroxidase activity (GPx), respectively. Also, flow cytometric analyses of ROS (dihydroethidine), apoptosis (Annexin V, active caspases), necrosis (Topro3), and mitochondrial membrane potential (JC-1) were done in parallel to correlate with changes in luminol-measured ROS. ATP/ADP ratios were quantified by HPLC and the predictive value of ROS measurement on islet functional potency was correlated with capacity to reverse diabetes in a streptozotocin-induced diabetic NOD.scid mouse model as well as in human transplant recipients. Our data demonstrate that levels of ROS in islets correlate with the percentage of apoptotic cells and their functional potency in vivo. The ROS indices following glucose and rotenone exposure are indicative of metabolic potency and mitochondrial integrity and can be used as surrogate markers to evaluate the quality of islets prior to transplantation.

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