Anti-oxidant effect of nitrite in the pancreatic islets of type 2 diabetic male rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Endocrine Physiology Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Unit of Molecular Metabolism, Lund University Diabetes Center, Clinical Research Center, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden

3 Department of Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, City University of New York School of Medicine, New York, USA


Objective(s): Nitrite, a nitric oxide (NO) donor, increases insulin secretion from pancreatic islets and has positive metabolic effects in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Here, we test the hypothesis of whether nitrite-induced insulin secretion is due to blunting of diabetes-induced oxidative stress in the islets.
Materials and Methods: T2D was created in male rats using a combination of streptozotocin at 25 mg/kg and a high-fat diet. Wistar rats were assigned to 3 groups (n=6 in each group), including control, T2D, and T2D+nitrite; the latter group consumed drinking water containing sodium nitrite (50 mg/l) for eight weeks. At the end of the study, mRNA levels of NADPH oxidase (Nox1, 2, 3, and 4), superoxide dismutase (SOD1, 2, and 3), glutathione peroxides (GPX1 and 7), glutathione reductase (GR), catalase, thioredoxin (TXN1 and 2), and thioredoxin reductase (TXNRD1) were measured in the isolated pancreatic islets. 
Results: In the islets of diabetic rats, mRNA expressions of Nox1, 2, and 4 were higher, whereas expressions of SOD1, 2, catalase, GPX1, 7, GR, and TXN1 were lower than controls. Nitrite significantly (all P-values<0.05) decreased gene expression of Nox1 (0.39-fold) and Nox4 (0.23-fold) and increased gene expression of SOD1 (2.2-fold), SOD2 (2.8-fold), catalase (2.7-fold), GPX1 (2.2-fold), GPX7 (6.0-fold), GR (3.0-fold), TXN1 (2.1-fold), and TXNRD1 (2.3-fold) in diabetic rats. 
Conclusion: Nitrite decreased oxidative stress in isolated pancreatic islets of rats with T2D by suppressing oxidants and augmenting anti-oxidants. These findings favor the notion that nitrite-induced insulin secretion is partially due to decreased oxidative stress. 


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