Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 754946, 8 pages
Research Article

High Glucose-Induced Oxidative Stress Increases the Copy Number of Mitochondrial DNA in Human Mesangial Cells

Diagnostic Services Unit, Al-Jawhara Centre for Molecular Medicine, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, P.O. Box 26671, Manama, Bahrain

Received 4 April 2013; Accepted 8 July 2013

Academic Editor: Stefano Curcio

Copyright © 2013 Ghada Al-Kafaji and Jamal Golbahar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been linked to the pathogenicity of diabetic nephropathy. We tested the hypothesis that mtDNA copy number may be increased in human mesangial cells in response to high glucose-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) to compensate for damaged mtDNA. The effect of manganese superoxide dismutase mimetic (MnTBAP) on glucose-induced mtDNA copy number was also examined. The copy number of mtDNA was determined by real-time PCR in human mesangial cells cultured in 5 mM glucose, 25 mM glucose, and mannitol (osmotic control), as well as in cells cultured in 25 mM glucose in the presence and absence of 200 μM MnTBAP. Intracellular ROS was assessed by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry in human mesangial cells. The copy number of mtDNA was significantly increased when human mesangial cells were incubated with 25 mM glucose compared to 5 mM glucose and mannitol. In addition, 25 mM glucose rapidly generated ROS in the cells, which was not detected in 5 mM glucose. Furthermore, mtDNA copy number was significantly decreased and maintained to normal following treatment of cells with 25 mM glucose and MnTBAP compared to 25 mM glucose alone. Inclusion of MnTBAP during 25 mM glucose incubation inhibited mitochondrial superoxide in human mesangial cells. Increased mtDNA copy number in human mesangial cells by high glucose could contribute to increased mitochondrial superoxide, and prevention of mtDNA copy number could have potential in retarding the development of diabetic nephropathy.