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Nicotinamide-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes increase insulin production in pancreatic beta cells via MIF pathway

Authors Ilie I, Ilie R, Mocan T, Tabaran F, Iancu C, Mocan L

Received 14 May 2013

Accepted for publication 30 June 2013

Published 30 August 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 3345—3353


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Ioana Ilie,1 Razvan Ilie,2 Teodora Mocan,3 Flaviu Tabaran,4 Cornel Iancu,4 Lucian Mocan4

1Department of Endocrinology, 2Department of Microbiology, 3Department of Physiology, 4Third Surgery Clinic, Department of Nanomedicine, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Abstract: Recent data in the literature support the role of nicotinamide (NA) as a pharmacologic agent that stimulates pancreatic beta-cells to produce insulin in vitro. There are data showing that carbon nanotubes may be useful in initiating and maintaining cellular metabolic responses. This study shows that administration of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) functionalized with nicotinamide (NA-MWCNTs) leads to significant insulin production compared with individual administration of NA, MWCNTs, and a control solution. Treatment of 1.4E7 cells for 30 minutes with NA-MWCNTs at concentrations ranging from 1 mg/L to 20 mg/L resulted in significantly increased insulin release (0.18 ± 0.026 ng/mL for 1 mg/L, 0.21 ± 0.024 ng/mL for 5 mg/L, and 0.27 ± 0.028 ng/mL for 20 mg/L). Thus, compared with cells treated with NA only (0.1 ± 0.01 ng/mL for 1 mg/L, 0.12 ± 0.017 ng/mL for 5 mg/L, and 0.17 ± 0.01 ng/mL for 20 mg/L) we observed a significant positive effect on insulin release in cells treated with NA-MWCNTs. The results were confirmed using flow cytometry, epifluorescence microscopy combined with immunochemistry staining, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques. In addition, using immunofluorescence microscopy techniques, we were able to demonstrate that MWCNTs enhance insulin production via the macrophage migration inhibitory factor pathway. The application and potential of NA combined with MWCNTs as an antidiabetic agent may represent the beginning of a new chapter in the nanomediated treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Keywords: carbon nanotubes, NA, insulin-producing cells, insulin, macrophage migration inhibitory factor, diabetes mellitus

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