Carbon monoxide protects pancreatic β-cells from apoptosis and improves islet function/survival after transplantation

Lukas Günther, Pascal O. Berberat, Manabu Haga, Sophie Brouard, R. Neal Smith, Miguel P. Soares, Fritz H. Bach, Edda Tobiasch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pancreatic islets transplanted to treat autoimmune type 1 diabetes often fail to function (primary nonfunction), likely because of islet β-cell apoptosis. We show that carbon monoxide (CO), a product of heme oxygenase activity, protects β-cells from apoptosis. Protection is mediated through guanylate cyclase activation, generation of cyclic GMP (cGMP), and activation of cGMP-dependent protein kinases. This antiapoptotic effect is still observed when β-cells are exposed to CO for 1 h before the apoptotic stimulus. In a similar manner, mouse islets exposed to CO for just 2 h function significantly better after transplantation than islets not exposed to CO. These findings suggest a potential therapeutic application for CO in improving islet function/survival after transplantation in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-999
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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