Imaging NF-kappaB activity in a murine model of early stage diabetes

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Endocrinology | Molecular Biology | Radiology


Early pro-inflammatory signaling in the endocrine pancreas involves activation of NF-kappaB, which is believed to be important for determining the ultimate fate of beta-cells and hence progression of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Thus, early non-invasive detection of NF-kappaB in pancreatic islets may serve as a potential strategy for monitoring early changes in pancreatic endocrine cells eventually leading to T1D. We investigated the feasibility of optical imaging of NF-kappaB transcription factor activation induced by low-dose streptozocin (LD-STZ) treatment in the immunocompetent SKH1 mouse model of early stage diabetes. In this model, we showed that the levels of NF-kappaB may be visualized and measured by fluorescence intensity of specific near-infrared (NIR) fluorophore-labeled oligodeoxyribonucleotide duplex (ODND) probes. In addition, NF-kappaB activation following LD-STZ treatment was validated using immunofluorescence and transgenic animals expressing NF-kappaB inducible imaging reporter. We showed that LD-STZ-treated SKH1 mice had significantly higher (2-3 times, P < .01) specific NIR FI in the nuclei and cytoplasm of islets cells than in non-treated control mice and this finding was corroborated by immunoblotting and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Finally, using semi-quantitative confocal analysis of non-fixed pancreatic islet microscopy we demonstrated that ODND probes may be used to distinguish between the islets with high levels of NF-kappaB transcription factor and control islet cells.


NF‐κB, beta cells, imaging probes, oligodeoxyribonucleotide duplex, type 1 diabetes

DOI of Published Version



FASEB J. 2020 Jan;34(1):1198-1210. doi: 10.1096/fj.201801147R. Epub 2019 Nov 29. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID