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Riboflavin Inhibits IL-6 Expression and p38 Activation in Islet Cells

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Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin that reduces the production of proinflammatory mediators and oxygen radicals. Because islet -cells are very sensitive to oxidative stress and to cytokines, we investigated the possible cytoprotective effects of riboflavin on insulinoma NIT-1 cells and on isolated rodent islets. NIT-1 cells and islets cultured in the presence or absence of 10 M riboflavin were studied at baseline and after exposure to cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1, INF-). Riboflavin treatment did not affect islet cell viability as assessed by flow cytometry for caspases activation. However, riboflavin prevented the cytokine-induced increase in IL-6 mRNA expression and p38 phosphorylation analyzed by real-time PCR and immunoassay, respectively. In summary, nontoxic doses of riboflavin prevent cytokines-induced p38 phosphorylation and IL-6 upregulation in islet cells. This observation, together with the safety profile of riboflavin in the clinical setting, makes it an appealing agent for islet cytoprotection in islet transplantation protocols.

Keywords: Cytoprotection; IL-6; Inflammation; Pancreatic islets; Riboflavin; p38

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-05-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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