The presence of amyloid aggregates of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP), a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, contributes to pancreatic β-cell impairment, where oxidative stress plays a key role. A contribution of NADPH oxidase to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation after cell exposure to micromolar concentrations of hIAPP aggregates has been suggested. However, little is known about β-cells exposure to lower amounts of hIAPP aggregates, similar to those found in human pancreas. Thus, we aimed to investigate the events resulting from RIN-5F cells exposure to nanomolar concentrations of toxic hIAPP aggregates. We found an early and transient rise of NADPH oxidase activity resulting from increased Nox1 expression following the engagement of receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) by hIAPP aggregates. Unexpectedly, NADPH oxidase activation was not accompanied by a significant ROS increase and the lipoperoxidation level was significantly reduced. Indeed, cell exposure to hIAPP aggregates affected the antioxidant defences, inducing a significant increase of the expression and activity of catalase and glutathione peroxidase. We conclude that exposure of pancreatic β-cells to nanomolar concentrations of hIAPP aggregates for a short time induces an hormetic response via the RAGE-Nox1 axis; the latter stimulates the enzymatic antioxidant defences that preserve the cells against oxidative stress damage.
Short time exposure of pancreatic β-cells to low hIAPP aggregate amounts is studied.
NADPH oxidase activity is increased after 3 h treatment with 60 nM hIAPP aggregates.
RAGE engagement by aggregates increases Nox1 expression.
Reduced lipoperoxidation and increased antioxidant enzymes were observed.
A protective hormetic response via RAGE-Nox1 is proposed.