The level of menadione redox-cycling in pancreatic β-cells is proportional to the glucose concentration: Role of NADH and consequences for insulin secretion

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Pancreatic β-cells release insulin in response to elevation of glucose from basal (4–7 mM) to stimulatory (8–16 mM) levels. Metabolism of glucose by the β-cell results in the production of low levels of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI), such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a newly recognized coupling factor linking glucose metabolism to insulin secretion. However, high and toxic levels of H2O2 inhibit insulin secretion. Menadione, which produces H2O2 via redox cycling mechanism in a dose-dependent manner, was investigated for its effect on β-cell metabolism and insulin secretion in INS-1 832/13, a rat β-cell insulinoma cell line, and primary rodent islets. Menadione-dependent redox cycling and resulting H2O2 production under stimulatory glucose exceeded several-fold those reached at basal glucose. This was paralleled by a differential effect of menadione (0.1–10 μM) on insulin secretion, which was enhanced at basal, but inhibited at stimulatory glucose. Redox cycling of menadione and H2O2 formation was dependent on glycolytically-derived NADH, as inhibition of glycolysis and application of non-glycogenic insulin secretagogues did not support redox cycling. In addition, activity of plasma membrane electron transport, a system dependent in part on glycolytically-derived NADH, was also inhibited by menadione. Menadione-dependent redox cycling was sensitive to the NQO1 inhibitor dicoumarol and the flavoprotein inhibitor diphenylene iodonium, suggesting a role for NQO1 and other oxidoreductases in this process. These data may explain the apparent dichotomy between the stimulatory and inhibitory effects of H2O2 and menadione on insulin secretion.

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