Protective mechanism of glucose against alloxan-induced β-cell damage: pivotal role of ATP

Article metrics


Glucose prevents the development of diabetes induced by alloxan. In the present study, the protective mechanism of glucose against alloxan-induced β-cell damage was investigated using HIT-T 15 cell, a Syrian hamster transformed β-cell line. Alloxan caused β-cell damages with DNA fragmentation, inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin release, and decrease of cellular ATP level, but all of these β-cell damages by alloxan were prevented by the presence of 20 mM glucose. Oligomycin, a specific inhibitor of ATP synthase, completely abolished the protective effects of glucose against alloxan-induced cell damage. Furthermore, treatment of nuclei isolated from HIT-T15 cells with ATP significantly prevented the DNA fragmentation induced by Ca2+. The results indicate that ATP produced during glucose metabolism plays a pivotal role in the protection of glucose against alloxan-induced β-cell damage.

Author information

Rights and permissions

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


  • glucose
  • ATP
  • alloxan
  • diabetes
  • DNA fragmentation

Further reading