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Albert Salehi

S Albert Salehi

Research team manager

Albert Salehi

Islet constitutive nitric oxide synthase: biochemical determination and regulatory function


  • S Albert Salehi
  • M Carlberg
  • R Henningson
  • Ingmar Lundquist

Summary, in English

Recent immunohistochemical findings suggested that a constitutive nitric oxide synthase (cNOS) resides in endocrine pancreas. Here we provide direct biochemical evidence for the presence of cNOS activity in isolated islets. The regulating influence of this nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity for islet hormone release was also investigated. We observed that cNOS activity could be quantitated in islet homogenates by monitoring the formation of L-citrulline from L-arginine using an Amprep CBA cation-exhange minicolumn before derivatization with o-phthaldialdehyde and subsequent high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. The islet NOS was dependent on both Ca2+ and calmodulin and suppressed by the NOS inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). This effect was enantiomerically specific. Islet insulin release induced by a mixture of L-arginine and glucose was enhanced by L-NAME, whereas L-arginine-induced glucagon release was inhibited. The effect of L-NAME on insulin release was dose dependently potentiated by increasing glucose concentrations, suggesting that glucose is an important regulator of islet NO production. Complementary in vivo studies showed similar results, i.e., the insulin secretory response to a mixture of glucose and L-arginine was extremely enhanced by pretreatment with L-NAME, whereas L-arginine-stimulated glucagon response was suppressed. Finally, in isolated islets, the intracellular nitric oxide (NO) donor hydroxylamine suppressed insulin release and increased glucagon release. In summary, the islets of Langerhans contain a constitutive, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent isoform of NOS. Islet NO suppressed insulin but enhanced glucagon secretion. The data also suggest a negative feedback by NO on glucose-induced insulin release. The islet NO system is a novel and important regulatory factor in insulin and glucagon secretion.


  • Islet cell physiology

Publishing year







American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology




6 Pt 1

Document type

Journal article


American Physiological Society


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes



Research group

  • Islet cell physiology


  • ISSN: 1522-1563