, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 625-631

First online:

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

  • C. MoriscotAffiliated withInstitute of Structural Biology, Grenoble, France
  • , F. PattouAffiliated withUPRES 1048, Cell Culture Laboratory, University Hospital, Lille, France
  • , J. Kerr-ConteAffiliated withUPRES 1048, Cell Culture Laboratory, University Hospital, Lille, France
  • , M. J. RichardAffiliated withDepartment of Endocrinology, University Hospital, Grenoble, France
  • , P. LemarchandAffiliated withINSERM U25, Necker School of Medicine, Paris, France
  • , P. Y. BenhamouAffiliated withDepartment of Endocrinology, University Hospital, Grenoble, France


Aims/hypothesis. 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). Methods. 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). Results. 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 μmol/l and 40.5 ± 8.9 % protection at 400 μmol/l) and INS-1 cells (82.2 ± 8.8 % protection at 200 μmol/l and 31.1 ± 5.8 % protection at 400 μmol/l). Protection against increasing doses of SNAP was AdSOD dose-dependent. Transfected islets released significantly more insulin than control islets in glucose-theophyllin-stimulated conditions, without or following exposure to SNAP. Conclusions/interpretation. 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. [Diabetologia (2000) 43: 625–631]

Keywords Islet transplantation nitric oxide oxidant stress superoxide dismutase reactive oxygen species adenovirus gene transfer.