Send to

Choose Destination
Metabolism. 2010 Feb;59(2):247-57. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2009.07.021. Epub 2009 Sep 17.

Superoxide production by mitochondria of insulin-sensitive tissues: mechanistic differences and effect of early diabetes.

Author information

Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Obesity and mild hyperglycemia are characteristic of early or "prediabetes." The associated increase in fatty acid flux is posited to enhance substrate delivery to mitochondria, leading to enhanced superoxide production that results in mitochondrial dysfunction and progressive worsening of the hyperglycemic state. We quantified superoxide production by gastrocnemius muscle, heart, and liver mitochondria in a rodent model that mimics the pathophysiology of prediabetes by administering low-dose streptozotocin to rats fed high fat (HF). Superoxide was rigorously determined indirectly as H(2)O(2) largely released from the matrix and by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy that directly detects superoxide released externally. Both HF and low-dose streptozotocin mildly increased glycemia (P < .05 by 2-way analysis of variance). Matrix and external superoxide production by gastrocnemius mitochondria respiring on the complex II substrate succinate and matrix superoxide production by liver mitochondria respiring on the complex I substrates glutamate plus malate were significantly reduced by HF feeding but not affected by mild hyperglycemia. Superoxide production was not significantly altered by either treatment in heart mitochondria fueled by either complex I or II substrates. The functional status of the mitochondria was assayed as simultaneous respiration and membrane potential that were not affected by HF or mild hyperglycemia. Comparison of substrate and inhibitor effects on superoxide release implied marked differences in the redox mechanisms regulating mitochondrial superoxide production from liver mitochondria compared with muscle and heart. In summary, superoxide production from mitochondria of different insulin-sensitive tissues differs mechanistically. However, in any case, excess superoxide production as an intrinsic property of mitochondria of insulin-sensitive tissues does not result from conditions mimicking the pathophysiology of pre- or early diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center