Diphenyleneiodonium suppresses apoptosis in cerulein-stimulated pancreatic acinar cells

Ji Hoon Yu, Kyung Hwan Kim, Dong Goo Kim, Hyeyoung Kim

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26 Citations (Scopus)


NADPH oxidase has been considered a major source of reactive oxygen species in phagocytic and non-phagocytic cells. Apoptosis linked to oxidative stress has been implicated in pancreatitis. Recently, we demonstrated that NADPH oxidase subunits Nox1, p27phox, p47phox, and p67phox are constitutively expressed in pancreatic acinar cells, which are activated by cerulein, a cholecystokinin analogue. Cerulein induces an acute and edematous form of pancreatitis. We investigated whether inhibition of NADPH oxidase by diphenyleneiodonium suppresses the production of reactive oxygen species and apoptosis by determining viable cell numbers, DNA fragmentation, TUNEL staining, caspase-3 activity, and the expression of apoptosis-inducing factor in pancreatic acinar AR42J cells stimulated with cerulein. Inhibition on NADPH oxidase by diphenyleneiodonium was assessed by the alterations in NADPH oxidase activity and translocation of the cytosolic subunits p67phox and p47phox to the membrane. Intracellular Ca2+ level was monitored to investigate the relationship between NADPH oxidase and Ca2+ in cells stimulated with cerulein. As a result, cerulein induced the activation of NADPH, increased production of reactive oxygen species, and apoptotic indices determined by the expression of apoptosis-inducing factor, caspase-3 activation, TUNEL staining, DNA fragmentation, and cell viability. Treatment with DPI inhibited cerulein-induced activation of NADPH oxidase, the production of reactive oxygen species, and apoptosis, but not the increase of intracellular Ca2+ levels in pancreatic acinar cells. These results demonstrate that the cerulein-induced increase in intracellular Ca2+ level may be an upstream event of NADPH oxidase activation. Diphenyleneiodonium, an NADPH oxidase inhibitor, inhibits the expression of apoptosis-inducing factor and caspase-3 activation, and thus apoptosis in pancreatic acinar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2063-2075
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Health 21 R & D Project, the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A050611) (to H. Kim). H. Kim is grateful to the Brain Korea 21 Project for Functional Foods and Nutrigenomics, Yonsei University.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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