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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 7054272, 15 pages
Research Article

Elucidation of Molecular Mechanisms of Streptozotocin-Induced Oxidative Stress, Apoptosis, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Rin-5F Pancreatic β-Cells

Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS), UAE University, Al Ain, UAE

Correspondence should be addressed to Haider Raza;

Received 26 April 2017; Revised 12 June 2017; Accepted 2 July 2017; Published 6 August 2017

Academic Editor: Maik Hüttemann

Copyright © 2017 Arwa M. T. Al Nahdi et al. 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.


Streptozotocin is a pancreatic beta-cell-specific cytotoxin and is widely used to induce experimental type 1 diabetes in rodent models. The precise molecular mechanism of STZ cytotoxicity is however not clear. Studies have suggested that STZ is preferably absorbed by insulin-secreting β-cells and induces cytotoxicity by producing reactive oxygen species/reactive nitrogen species (ROS/RNS). In the present study, we have investigated the mechanism of cytotoxicity of STZ in insulin-secreting pancreatic cancer cells (Rin-5F) at different doses and time intervals. Cell viability, apoptosis, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial bioenergetics were studied. Our results showed that STZ induces alterations in glutathione homeostasis and inhibited the activities of the respiratory enzymes, resulting in inhibition of ATP synthesis. Apoptosis was observed in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Western blot analysis has also confirmed altered expression of oxidative stress markers (e.g., NOS and Nrf2), cell signaling kinases, apoptotic protein-like caspase-3, PARP, and mitochondrial specific proteins. These results suggest that STZ-induced cytotoxicity in pancreatic cells is mediated by an increase in oxidative stress, alterations in cellular metabolism, and mitochondrial dysfunction. This study may be significant in better understanding the mechanism of STZ-induced β-cell toxicity/resistance and the etiology of type 1 diabetes induction.