Glucose initially inhibits and later stimulates blood ROS generation


Background: Glucose is the main substrate for the generation of NADPH, the cofactor of the oxidative burst enzyme NADPH-oxidase of blood neutrophils. Changes in blood glucose are thus expected to modify the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The new blood ROS generation assay (BRGA) quantifies ROS changes induced by blood glucose concentrations as they are found in diabetes mellitus. Material and Methods: Citrated or EDTA blood of 6 healthy donors were analyzed in the BRGA: 10 μl sample in black polystyrene F-microwells (Brand 781608) were incubated in triplicate with 125 μl Hanks’ balanced salt solution, 40 μl 0 - 200 mM glucose in 0.9% NaCl (final added conc.: 0 - 41 mM; final basal glucose conc.: about4 mM), 10 μl5 mMluminol, and 10 μl zymosan A (final conc.: 1.9 μg/ml) in 0.9% NaCl. The plates were measured within 0 - 250 min (37) in a photons-multiplyer microtiter plate luminometer (LUmo) with an integration time of 1 s. Results: Up to about 30 min reaction time the mean ROS generation was 50% inhibited by about1 mMadded glucose (= approx. IC50). At ≥80 min reaction time (possibly necessary for full phosphorylation of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate (G6P), the substrate metabolized by G6P-dehydrogenase to generate NADPH, the cofactor of the NADPH-oxidase) the mean ROS generation approximately doubled at about1 mMadded glucose (= approx. SC200) in citrated blood. Discussion: Elevated glucose concentrations not only increase systemic thrombin generation, they can also diminish cellular fibrinolysis and increase systemic inflammation, resulting in a chronic pro-thrombotic state. The fascinating importance of NADPH-oxidases not only in phagocytes but also in the beta cells of pancreas points towards a new pathogenesis explication of diabetes mellitus type 1: whatever stimulus (e.g. a pancreas-tropic virus) could activate the beta cell’s autodestructive NADPH-oxidase.

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Stief, T. (2013) Glucose initially inhibits and later stimulates blood ROS generation. Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, 3, 15-21. doi: 10.4236/jdm.2013.31003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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