, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 85-96

Reduced beta-cell mass and expression of oxidative stress-related DNA damage in the islet of Japanese Type II diabetic patients

Abstract.

Aims/hypothesis:

We examined the pancreatic islet lesions in Japanese patients with Type II diabetes mellitus to determine if the damage was related to oxidative stress.

Methods:

Morphometric analyses were performed on immunostained sections of the tail portion of the pancreas from 14 diabetic and 15 non-diabetic patients. Amyloid deposition and oxidative stress-induced tissue damage were evaluated by Congo-red staining and immunostaining. Resistance to oxidative stress was assessed from immunostaining results for Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD). Expression of (pro)insulin mRNA was assessed by in situ hybridisation.

Results:

The pancreas from diabetic patients had amyloid deposition in about 15 % of the islets, intensified reactions of 8-OHdG and HNE, as well as reduced expression of SOD. Islet volume density of beta cells and total beta-cell mass in the pancreas from diabetic patients were reduced by 22 % (p < 0.001) and 30 % (p < 0.05). Islet volume density and total mass of (pro)insulin mRNA-positive cells were similarly reduced in diabetic patients by 22 % (p < 0.001) and 39 % (p < 0.05), respectively. Islet volume density of A cells was increased by 20 % (p < 0.001) but total mass did not change. There were no changes in volume densities of islet, D and PP cells. Reduced beta-cell volume density correlated with increased positive staining of 8-OHdG.

Conclusion/interpretation:

Japanese Type II diabetic patients show a reduction of beta-cell mass and evidence of increased oxidative stress-related tissue damage that is correlated with the extent of the beta-cell lesions. [Diabetologia (2002) 45: 85–96]

Received: 6 June 2001 and in revised form: 19 September 2001