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26.  Progressive decay of Ca2+ homeostasis in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy 
Background
Cardiac dysfunction in diabetic cardiomyopathy may be associated with abnormal Ca2+ homeostasis. This study investigated the effects of alterations in Ca2+ homeostasis and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-associated proteins on cardiac function in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Methods
Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into 4 groups (n = 12, each): a control group, and streptozotocin-induced rat models of diabetes groups, examined after 4, 8, or 12 weeks. Evaluations on cardiac structure and function were performed by echocardiography and hemodynamic examinations, respectively. Cardiomyocytes were isolated and spontaneous Ca2+ spark images were formed by introducing fluorescent dye Fluo-4 and obtained with confocal scanning microscopy. Expressions of Ca2+-associated proteins were assessed by Western blotting.
Results
Echocardiography and hemodynamic measurements revealed that cardiac dysfunction is associated with the progression of diabetes, which also correlated with a gradual but significant decline in Ca2+ spark frequency (in the 4-, 8- and 12-week diabetic groups). However, Ca2+ spark decay time constants increased significantly, relative to the control group. Expressions of ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2), sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-2ATPase (SERCA) and Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX1) were decreased, together with quantitative alterations in Ca2+regulatory proteins, FKBP12.6 and phospholamban progressively and respectively in the diabetic rats.
Conclusions
Ca2+ sparks exhibited a time-dependent decay with progression of diabetic cardiomyopathy, which may partly contribute to cardiac dysfunction. This abnormality may be attributable to alterations in the expressions of some Ca2+-associated proteins.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-75
PMCID: PMC3991902  PMID: 24712865
Spontaneous Ca2+ spark; Cardiac dysfunction; Calcium-associated protein; Diabetic cardiomyopathy
27.  Comprehensive analysis of circulating adipokines and hsCRP association with cardiovascular disease risk factors and metabolic syndrome in Arabs 
Background
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a leading cause of death worldwide including the Middle East. This is caused in part by the dysregulation of adipose tissue leading to increased production of pro-inflammatory adipokines and reduction in cardio-protective adipokines such as adiponectin. Ethnicity has been recognized as a major factor in the association between CVD risk factors and the different circulating adipokines. In this study, for the first time, the relationship between traditional cardiovascular risk factors, Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) and circulating level of adipokines in Arab ethnicity was investigated.
Methods
We conducted a population-based cross-sectional survey on 379 adult Arab participants living in Kuwait. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure (BP), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride (TG) were measured. Plasma levels of circulating Leptin, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor (PAI-1) visfatin, adiponectin, resistin and adipsin were assessed using the multiplexing immunobead-based assay.
Results
Circulating levels of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP), Leptin, PAI-1 and adiponectin were significantly higher in Arab women than men (p < 0.0001). In multi-variate analysis, the homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and body mass index (BMI) showed strong association with most of the biomarkers (p < 0.05). HsCRP showed significant association with all risk factors (p < 0.05). Leptin, PAI-1 and adipsin showed significant positive correlation with BMI, unlike adiponectin which showed inverse correlation (p < 0.05). Subjects in the highest tertile of leptin, PAI-1 and hsCRP had higher odds of having Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) (odd ratio [OR] = 3.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.47 – 6.19) and (OR = 2.52, 95% CI = 1.45 – 4.35), (OR = 4.26, 95% CI = 2.39 – 7.59) respectively. On the other hand subjects with highest tertile of adiponectin had lower odds of having MetS (OR = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.12 – 0.40). Leptin, PAI-1 and hsCRP showed significant positive association with increased MetS components (P-trend <0.05), while adiponectin was negatively associated with increased MetS components (P-trend <0.0001).
Conclusion
Our results show positive association between hsCRP, leptin, PAI-1 with increased MetS components and increase the odds of having MetS. Adiponectin on the other hand showed inverse correlation with MetS components and associated with reduction in MetS. Overall, our data highlights the significant clinical value these markers have in MetS especially hsCRP which can be used as good marker of low grade inflammation in Arabs.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-76
PMCID: PMC3997236  PMID: 24716628
Adipokine; Arab; Metabolic syndrome; Cardiometabolic risk factors; Lipid profile; hsCRP; Leptin; Adiponectin; Visfatin; Resistin; Adipsin; Low grade inflammation
28.  Impaired relaxation despite upregulated calcium-handling protein atrial myocardium from type 2 diabetic patients with preserved ejection fraction 
Background
Diastolic dysfunction is a key factor in the development and pathology of cardiac dysfunction in diabetes, however the exact underlying mechanism remains unknown, especially in humans. We aimed to measure contraction, relaxation, expression of calcium-handling proteins and fibrosis in myocardium of diabetic patients with preserved systolic function.
Methods
Right atrial appendages from patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM, n = 20) and non-diabetic patients (non-DM, n = 36), all with preserved ejection fraction and undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), were collected. From appendages, small cardiac muscles, trabeculae, were isolated to measure basal and β-adrenergic stimulated myocardial function. Expression levels of calcium-handling proteins, sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA2a) and phospholamban (PLB), and of β1-adrenoreceptors were determined in tissue samples by Western blot. Collagen deposition was determined by picro-sirius red staining.
Results
In trabeculae from diabetic samples, contractile function was preserved, but relaxation was prolonged (Tau: 74 ± 13 ms vs. 93 ± 16 ms, non-DM vs. DM, p = 0.03). The expression of SERCA2a was increased in diabetic myocardial tissue (0.75 ± 0.09 vs. 1.23 ± 0.15, non-DM vs. DM, p = 0.007), whereas its endogenous inhibitor PLB was reduced (2.21 ± 0.45 vs. 0.42 ± 0.11, non-DM vs. DM, p = 0.01). Collagen deposition was increased in diabetic samples. Moreover, trabeculae from diabetic patients were unresponsive to β-adrenergic stimulation, despite no change in β1-adrenoreceptor expression levels.
Conclusions
Human type 2 diabetic atrial myocardium showed increased fibrosis without systolic dysfunction but with impaired relaxation, especially during β-adrenergic challenge. Interestingly, changes in calcium-handling protein expression suggests accelerated active calcium re-uptake, thus improved relaxation, indicating a compensatory calcium-handling mechanism in diabetes in an attempt to maintain diastolic function at rest despite impaired relaxation in the diabetic fibrotic atrial myocardium. Our study addresses important aspects of the underlying mechanisms of diabetes-associated diastolic dysfunction, which is crucial to developing new therapeutic treatments.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-72
PMCID: PMC3997226  PMID: 24708792
Diastolic dysfunction; Human myocardium; Type 2 diabetes; Relaxation; Contraction; Adrenergic regulation; Calcium signaling; Myocardial fibrosis
29.  Subclinical vascular inflammation in subjects with normal weight obesity and its association with body Fat: an 18 F-FDG-PET/CT study 
Background
Although body mass index (BMI) is the most widely accepted parameter for defining obesity, recent studies have indicated a unique set of patients who exhibit normal BMI and excess body fat (BF), which is termed as normal weight obesity (NWO). Increased BF is an established risk factor for atherosclerosis. However, it is unclear whether NWO subjects already have a higher degree of vascular inflammation compared to normal weight lean (NWL) subjects; moreover, the association of BF with vascular inflammation in normal weight subjects is largely unknown.
Methods
NWO and NWL subjects (n = 82 in each group) without any history of significant vascular disease were identified from a 3-year database of consecutively recruited patients undergoing 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18 F-FDG-PET/CT) at a self-referred Healthcare Promotion Program. The degree of subclinical vascular inflammation was evaluated using the mean and maximum target-to-background ratios (TBRmean and TBRmax) of the carotid artery, which were measured by 18 F-FDG-PET/CT (a noninvasive tool for assessing vascular inflammation).
Results
We found that metabolically dysregulation was greater in NWO subjects than in NWL subjects, with a significantly higher blood pressure, higher fasting glucose level, and worse lipid profile. Moreover, NWO subjects exhibited higher TBR than NWL subjects (TBRmean: 1.33 ± 0.16 versus 1.45 ± 0.19, p < 0.001; TBRmax: 1.52 ± 0.23 versus 1.67 ± 0.25, p < 0.001). TBR was significantly associated with total BF (TBRmean: r = 0.267, p = 0.001; TBRmax: r = 0.289, p < 0.001), age (TBRmean: r = 0.170, p = 0.029; TBRmax: r = 0.165, p = 0.035), BMI (TBRmean: r = 0.184, p = 0.018; TBRmax: r = 0.206, p = 0.008), and fasting glucose level (TBRmean: r = 0.157, p = 0.044; TBRmax: r = 0.182, p = 0.020). In multiple linear regression analysis, BF was an independent determinant of TBRmean and TBRmax, after adjusting for age, BMI, and fasting glucose level (TBRmean: regression coefficient = 0.020, p = 0.008; TBRmax: regression coefficient = 0.028, p = 0.005). Compared to NWL, NWO was also independently associated with elevated TBRmax values, after adjusting for confounding factors (odds ratio = 2.887, 95% confidence interval 1.206–6.914, p = 0.017).
Conclusions
NWO is associated with a higher degree of subclinical vascular inflammation, of which BF is a major contributing factor. These results warrant investigations for subclinical atherosclerosis in NWO patients.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-70
PMCID: PMC3994236  PMID: 24708764
Normal weight obesity; Fat; Atherosclerosis; 18 F-FDG-PET/CT; Vascular inflammation
30.  Exenatide induces aortic vasodilation increasing hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide and nitric oxide production 
Background
It has been reported that GLP-1 agonist exenatide (exendin-4) decreases blood pressure. The dose-dependent vasodilator effect of exendin-4 has previously been demonstrated, although the precise mechanism is not thoroughly described. Here we have aimed to provide in vitro evidence for the hypothesis that exenatide may decrease central (aortic) blood pressure involving three gasotransmitters, namely nitric oxide (NO) carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen sulphide (H2S).
Methods
We determined the vasoactive effect of exenatide on isolated thoracic aortic rings of adult rats. Two millimetre-long vessel segments were placed in a wire myograph and preincubated with inhibitors of the enzymes producing the three gasotransmitters, with inhibitors of reactive oxygen species formation, prostaglandin synthesis, inhibitors of protein kinases, potassium channels or with an inhibitor of the Na+/Ca2+-exchanger.
Results
Exenatide caused dose-dependent relaxation of rat thoracic aorta, which was evoked via the GLP-1 receptor and was mediated mainly by H2S but also by NO and CO. Prostaglandins and superoxide free radical also play a part in the relaxation. Inhibition of soluble guanylyl cyclase significantly diminished vasorelaxation. We found that ATP-sensitive-, voltage-gated- and calcium-activated large-conductance potassium channels are also involved in the vasodilation, but that seemingly the inhibition of the KCNQ-type voltage-gated potassium channels resulted in the most remarkable decrease in the rate of vasorelaxation. Inhibition of the Na+/Ca2+-exchanger abolished most of the vasodilation.
Conclusions
Exenatide induces vasodilation in rat thoracic aorta with the contribution of all three gasotransmitters. We provide in vitro evidence for the potential ability of exenatide to lower central (aortic) blood pressure, which could have relevant clinical importance.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-69
PMCID: PMC3976540  PMID: 24693878
Glucagon-like-peptide-1; Exenatide; Vasodilation; Aortic rings; Central blood pressure
31.  Rapid onset of cardiomyopathy in STZ-induced female diabetic mice involves the downregulation of pro-survival Pim-1 
Background
Diabetic women are five times more likely to develop congestive heart failure compared with two fold for men. The underlying mechanism for this gender difference is not known. Here we investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for this female disadvantage and attempt safeguarding cardiomyocytes viability and function through restoration of pro-survival Pim-1.
Methods and Results
Diabetes was induced by injection of streptozotocin in CD1 mice of both genders. Functional and dimensional parameters measurement using echocardiography revealed diastolic dysfunction in female diabetic mice within 8 weeks after STZ-induced diabetes. This was associated with significant downregulation of pro-survival Pim-1 and upregulation of pro-apoptotic Caspase-3, microRNA-1 and microRNA-208a. Male diabetic mice did not show any significant changes at this time point (P < 0.05 vs. female diabetic). Further, the onset of ventricular remodelling was quicker in female diabetic mice showing marked left ventricular dilation, reduced ejection fraction and poor contractility (P < 0.05 vs. male diabetic at 12 and 16 weeks of STZ-induced diabetes). Molecular analysis of samples from human diabetic hearts confirmed the results of pre-clinical studies, showing marked downregulation of Pim-1 in the female diabetic heart (P < 0.05 vs. male diabetic). Finally, in vitro restoration of Pim-1 reversed the female disadvantage in diabetic cardiomyocytes.
Conclusions
We provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms behind the rapid onset of cardiomyopathy in female diabetics. These results suggest the requirement for the development of gender-specific treatments for diabetic cardiomyopathy.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-68
PMCID: PMC4073808  PMID: 24685144
Diabetes; Cardiomyopathy; Gender difference; Cardiac dysfunction; Apoptosis
32.  Cardiovascular guidelines: separate career may help attenuate controversy 
The release of recent guidelines for high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes in the U.S. has been accompanied by great noise and concerns, both in the academic circuits and the lay press. For persons aged 40 to75 years, with LDL cholesterol levels between 70–189 mg/dL and 7.5% or higher estimated 10-year risk, the peril of a global “statinization” has been advocated, predicting a 70% increase of statin use in this otherwise healthy people. A minority of the Eight Joint National Committee panel disagreed with the recommendation to increase the target systolic blood pressure from 140 to 150 mmHg in persons aged 60 years or older without diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease. The 2013-American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists algorithm and consensus statement on diabetes has been criticized with particular concerns about transparency, conflicts of interest, group composition, and the abundant use of personal judgment and experience instead of rigorous methodology. Separate careers for experts who collect evidence from persons who write the actual guidelines seems a good opportunity in order to attenuate the noise associated with release of new guidelines, especially those that counter prior practice.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-66
PMCID: PMC3973351  PMID: 24678917
33.  Contribution of subcutaneous abdominal fat on ultrasonography to carotid atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Background
Whereas visceral abdominal adipose tissue (VAT) is associated with cardiometabolic risk, there is debate regarding the role of subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAT). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships of subcutaneous and visceral abdominal fat with carotid atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods
A total of 234 patients (men 131, women 103, mean age: 53 years) with T2DM were enrolled. Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT) and visceral fat thickness (VFT) were assessed by high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography (US).
Results
Compared to women, men had significantly higher VFT and lower SFT (p = 0.002, p = 0.04, respectively). In partial correlation coefficient analyses between CIMT and abdominal fat thickness after adjustment for body mass index (BMI), SFT showed a negative correlation with CIMT in men (r = -0.27, p = 0.03). VFT was not correlated with CIMT in either men or women. In women, SFT was not correlated with CIMT (r = -0.01, p = 0.93). VFT/SFT ratio was not correlated with CIMT in either men or women. In multivariate regression analyses adjusted for BMI and other CVD risk factors, SFT but not VFT was independently inversely associated with CIMT in men but not in women (p < 0.001).
Conclusions
SFT assessed by US was inversely associated with carotid atherosclerosis in patients with T2DM, particularly men. Further research into the different roles of the two types of abdominal adipose tissue in both men and women is warranted.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-67
PMCID: PMC3986640  PMID: 24678948
Carotid atherosclerosis; Subcutaneous abdominal fat; Subcutaneous fat thickness; Visceral fat thickness; Ultrasonography; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
34.  Efficacy and safety of monotherapy with the novel sodium/glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitor tofogliflozin in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a combined Phase 2 and 3 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group comparative study 
Background
In recent years, several oral antidiabetic drugs with new mechanisms of action have become available, expanding the number of treatment options. Sodium/glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a new class of oral antidiabetic drugs with an insulin-independent mechanism promoting urinary glucose excretion. We report the results of a combined Phase 2 and 3 clinical study (Japic CTI-101349) of the SGLT2 inhibitor tofogliflozin (CSG452, RG7201) in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Methods
The efficacy and safety of tofogliflozin were assessed in this multicenter, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind parallel-group study involving 230 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with inadequate glycemic control on diet/exercise therapy. Between 30 October 2010 and 28 February 2012, patients at 33 centers were randomized to either placebo (n = 56) or tofogliflozin (10, 20, or 40 mg; n = 58 each) orally, once daily for 24 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was the change from baseline in HbA1c at week 24.
Results
Overall, 229 patients were included in the full analysis set (placebo: n = 56; tofogliflozin 10 mg: n = 57; tofogliflozin 20 and 40 mg: n = 58 each). The least squares (LS) mean change (95% confidence interval) from baseline in HbA1c at week 24 was −0.028% (−0.192 to 0.137) in the placebo group, compared with −0.797% (−0.960 to −0.634) in the tofogliflozin 10 mg group, −1.017% (−1.178 to −0.856) in the tofogliflozin 20 mg group, and −0.870% (−1.031 to −0.709) in the tofogliflozin 40 mg group (p < 0.0001 for the LS mean differences in all tofogliflozin groups vs placebo). There were also prominent decreases in fasting blood glucose, 2-h postprandial glucose, and body weight in all tofogliflozin groups compared with the placebo group. The main adverse events were hyperketonemia, ketonuria, and pollakiuria. The incidence of hypoglycemia was low. Furthermore, most adverse events were classified as mild or moderate in severity.
Conclusions
Tofogliflozin 10, 20, or 40 mg administered once daily as monotherapy significantly decreased HbA1c and body weight, and was generally well tolerated in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Phase 3 studies were recently completed and support the findings of this combined Phase 2 and 3 study.
Trial registration
This study was registered in the JAPIC clinical trials registry (ID: Japic CTI-101349).
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-65
PMCID: PMC4021346  PMID: 24678906
SGLT2 inhibitor; Tofogliflozin; CSG452; RG7201; HbA1c; Body weight
35.  Gender disparity in LDL-induced cardiovascular damage and the protective role of estrogens against electronegative LDL 
Background
Increased levels of the most electronegative type of LDL, L5, have been observed in the plasma of patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and can induce endothelial dysfunction. Because men have a higher predisposition to developing coronary artery disease than do premenopausal women, we hypothesized that LDL electronegativity is increased in men and promotes endothelial damage.
Methods
L5 levels were compared between middle-aged men and age-matched, premenopausal women with or without MetS. We further studied the effects of gender-influenced LDL electronegativity on aortic cellular senescence and DNA damage in leptin receptor–deficient (db/db) mice by using senescence-associated–β-galactosidase and γH2AX staining, respectively. We also studied the protective effects of 17β-estradiol and genistein against electronegative LDL–induced senescence in cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs).
Results
L5 levels were higher in MetS patients than in healthy subjects (P < 0.001), particularly in men (P = 0.001). LDL isolated from male db/db mice was more electronegative than that from male or female wild-type mice. In addition, LDL from male db/db mice contained abundantly more apolipoprotein CIII and induced more BAEC senescence than did female db/db or wild-type LDL. In the aortas of db/db mice but not wild-type mice, we observed cellular senescence and DNA damage, and the effect was more significant in male than in female db/db mice. Pretreatment with 17β-estradiol or genistein inhibited BAEC senescence induced by male or female db/db LDL and downregulated the expression of lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha protein.
Conclusion
The gender dichotomy of LDL-induced cardiovascular damage may underlie the increased propensity to coronary artery disease in men.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-64
PMCID: PMC3974745  PMID: 24666525
Electronegative low-density lipoprotein; Metabolic syndrome; Cardiovascular disease; Aortic senescence; 17β-estradiol; Genistein
36.  Predictive value of high-sensitivity troponin-I for future adverse cardiovascular outcome in stable patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Introduction
High-sensitivity cardiac troponin I(hs-TnI) and T levels(hs-TnT) are sensitive biomarkers of cardiomyocyte turnover or necrosis. Prior studies of the predictive role of hs-TnT in type 2 diabetes mellitus(T2DM) patients have yielded conflicting results. This study aimed to determine whether hs-TnI, which is detectable in a higher proportion of normal subjects than hsTnT, is associated with a major adverse cardiovascular event(MACE) in T2DM patients.
Methods and results
We compared hs-TnI level in stored serum samples from 276 consecutive patients (mean age 65 ± 10 years; 57% male) with T2DM with that of 115 age-and sex-matched controls. All T2DM patients were prospectively followed up for at least 4 years for incidence of MACE including heart failure(HF), myocardial infarction(MI) and cardiovascular mortality. At baseline, 274(99%) patients with T2DM had detectable hs-TnI, and 57(21%) had elevated hs-TnI (male: 8.5 ng/L, female: 7.6 ng/L, above the 99th percentile in healthy controls). A total of 43 MACE occurred: HF(n = 18), MI(n = 11) and cardiovascular mortality(n = 14). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that an elevated hs-TnI was associated with MACE, HF, MI and cardiovascular mortality. Although multivariate analysis revealed that an elevated hs-TnI independently predicted MACE, it had limited sensitivity(62.7%) and positive predictive value(38.5%). Contrary to this, a normal hs-TnI level had an excellent negative predictive value(92.2%) for future MACE in patients with T2DM.
Conclusion
The present study demonstrates that elevated hs-TnI in patients with T2DM is associated with increased MACE, HF, MI and cardiovascular mortality. Importantly, a normal hs-TnI level has an excellent negative predictive value for future adverse cardiovascular events during long-term follow-up.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-63
PMCID: PMC4006634  PMID: 24661773
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; High-sensitivity troponin I outcome
37.  Myocardial blood flow under general anaesthesia with sevoflurane in type 2 diabetic patients: a pilot study 
Background
In type 2 diabetic patients, cardiac events in the perioperative period may be associated with diminished myocardial vasomotor function and endothelial dysfunction. The influence of sevoflurane anaesthesia on myocardial endothelial dysfunction in type 2 diabetic mellitus is investigated in this pilot study.
Methods
Six males with type 2 diabetes mellitus and eight healthy controls were included. Using myocardial contrast echocardiography, myocardial blood flow (MBF) was measured at rest, during adenosine-induced hyperaemia (endothelium-independent vasodilation) and after sympathetic stimulation by the cold pressor test (endothelium-dependent vasodilation). Measurements were performed before and after induction of sevoflurane anaesthesia.
Results
Sevoflurane anaesthesia decreased resting MBF in diabetics but not in controls (P = 0.03), while baseline MBF did not differ between diabetics and controls. Without anaesthesia, adenosine-induced hyperaemia increased MBF in both groups compared to resting values. Adenosine combined with sevoflurane resulted in a lower hyperaemic MBF in both groups compared to no anaesthesia. Differences in MBF in response to adenosine before and after sevoflurane administration were larger in diabetic patients, however not statistically significant in this pilot group (P = 0.08). Myocardial blood flow parameters after the cold pressor test were not different between groups.
Conclusion
These pilot data in type 2 diabetic patients show that sevoflurane anaesthesia decreases resting myocardial blood flow compared to healthy controls. Further, we observed a trend towards a lower endothelium-independent vasodilation capacity in diabetic patients under sevoflurane anaesthesia. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation was not affected by sevoflurane in diabetic patients. These data provide preliminary insight into myocardial responses in type 2 diabetic patients under general anaesthesia.
Trial registration
http://www.clinicialtrials.gov, NCT00866801
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-62
PMCID: PMC3994329  PMID: 24656118
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Myocardial blood flow; Anaesthesia; Hyperaemia
38.  Differential association of visceral adipose tissue with coronary plaque characteristics in patients with and without diabetes mellitus 
Background
Excess visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is closely associated with the presence of coronary artery plaques that are vulnerable to rupture. Patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) have more VAT than patients without DM, but the extent to which VAT contributes to the characteristics of coronary plaques before and after the development of DM is not fully understood.
Methods
We retrospectively evaluated 456 patients (60% male, age 64 ± 16 years) who were suspected to have cardiovascular disease and underwent 64-slice computed tomography angiography (CTA). Seventy-one (16%) patients had vulnerable plaques (CT density < 50 Hounsfield Units, positive remodeling index > 1.05, and adjacent spotty areas of calcification).
Results
Patients were divided into tertiles according to the VAT area. There were stepwise increases in noncalcified and vulnerable plaques with increasing tertiles of VAT area in patients without DM, but not in patients with DM. Multivariate analysis showed that a larger VAT area was significantly associated with a higher risk of vulnerable plaque in patients without DM (odds ratio 3.17, 95% confidence interval 1.08–9.31, p = 0.04), but not in patients with DM.
Conclusions
The VAT area is associated with the characteristics of coronary plaques on CTA in patients without DM, but not in patients with DM. VAT may be a significant cardiometabolic risk factor that is associated with plaque vulnerability before the development of DM. CTA findings may help to improve risk stratification in such patients.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-61
PMCID: PMC3975136  PMID: 24624968
Visceral adipose tissue; Coronary artery disease; Diabetes mellitus
39.  Advanced glycation end products potentiate citrated plasma-evoked oxidative and inflammatory reactions in endothelial cells by up-regulating protease-activated receptor-1 expression 
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and receptor RAGE interaction contribute to endothelial cell damage in diabetes. Several thrombogenic abnormalities are also involved in diabetic vascular complications. However, the pathological role of thrombin and protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) system in AGE-induced endothelial cell (EC) damage remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of rivaroxaban, an inhibitor of factor Xa on 3% citrated human plasma-evoked reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and RAGE, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) gene expression in AGE-exposed ECs. We further examined whether FR171113, an inhibitor of PAR-1 blocked the plasma-induced EC damage and if AGEs increased PAR-1 expression in ECs. Human citrated plasma stimulated ROS generation and RAGE, MCP-1 and ICAM-1 expression in ECs, all of which were potentiated by the treatment with AGEs. Rivaroxaban or FR171113 significantly inhibited these derangements in plasma- or plasma plus AGE-exposed ECs. Moreover, AGEs significantly increased the PAR-1 levels in ECs. The present study suggests that citrated plasma could induce oxidative and inflammatory reactions in ECs via the activation of thrombin-PAR-1 system and that AGEs could potentiate the plasma-evoked EC damages via up-regulation of PAR-1. Blockade of the crosstalk between AGE-RAGE axis and coagulation system by rivaroxaban might be a novel therapeutic target for thromboembolic disorders in diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-60
PMCID: PMC3995632  PMID: 24624928
AGEs; RAGE; Endothelial cells; Diabetes; PAR-1; Rivaroxaban
40.  Distribution of cardiovascular disease and retinopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes according to different classification systems for chronic kidney disease: a cross-sectional analysis of the renal insufficiency and cardiovascular events (RIACE) Italian multicenter study 
Background
The National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF’s KDOQI) staging system for chronic kidney disease (CKD) is based primarily on estimated GFR (eGFR). This study aimed at assessing whether reclassification of subjects with type 2 diabetes using two recent classifications based on both eGFR and albuminuria, the Alberta Kidney Disease Network (AKDN) and the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO), provides a better definition of burden from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) than the NKF’s KDOQI classification.
Methods
This is a cross-sectional analysis of patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 15,773) from the Renal Insufficiency And Cardiovascular Events Italian Multicenter Study, consecutively visiting 19 Diabetes Clinics throughout Italy in years 2007-2008. Exclusion criteria were dialysis or renal transplantation. CKD was defined based on eGFR, as calculated from serum creatinine by the simplified Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study equation, and albuminuria, as measured by immunonephelometry or immunoturbidimetry. DR was assessed by dilated fundoscopy. Prevalent CVD, total and by vascular bed, was assessed from medical history by recording previous documented major acute events.
Results
Though prevalence of complications increased with increasing CKD severity with all three classifications, it differed significantly between NKF’s KDOQI stages and AKDN or KDIGO risk categories. The AKDN and KDIGO systems resulted in appropriate reclassification of uncomplicated patients in the lowest risk categories and a more graded independent association with CVD and DR than the NKF’s KDOQI classification. However, CVD, but not DR prevalence was higher in the lowest risk categories of the new classifications than in the lowest stages of the NKF’s KDOQI, due to the inclusion of subjects with reduced eGFR without albuminuria. CVD prevalence differed also among eGFR and albuminuria categories grouped into AKDN and KDIGO risk category 1 and moderate, respectively, and to a lesser extent into higher risk categories.
Conclusions
Though the new systems perform better than the NKF’s KDOQI in grading complications and identifying diabetic subjects without complications, they might underestimate CVD burden in patients assigned to lower risk categories and should be tested in large prospective studies.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT00715481
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-59
PMCID: PMC4008155  PMID: 24624891
Chronic kidney disease; Classification; eGFR; Albuminuria; Cardiovascular disease; Diabetic retinopathy
41.  Differential impact of subclinical carotid artery disease on cerebral structure and functioning in type 1 diabetes patients with versus those without proliferative retinopathy 
Background
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is associated with cerebral compromise, typically found in patients with microangiopathy. Associations between subclinical macroangiopathy and the brain, whether or not in the presence of microangiopathy, have not been fully explored in T1DM. We hypothesized that subclinical macroangiopathy in adult T1DM may affect the brain and interacts with microangiopathy.
Methods
In 51 asymptomatic T1DM patients with, 53 without proliferative retinopathy and 51 controls, right common carotid artery ultrasound was used to assess intima media thickness (cIMT) and distensibility (cD). Neuropsychological tests for cognitive functions, and magnetic resonance imagining for white matter integrity and functional connectivity, i.e. neuronal communication, were used.
Results
After correction for confounders, cIMT was borderline significantly increased in all T1DM patients (P = 0.071), whereas cD was not statistically significantly altered (P = 0.45). Patients with proliferative retinopathy showed the largest increase in cIMT and decrease in cD. In all participants, after adjustment for confounders, increased cIMT was related to decreased white matter integrity (β = −0.198 P = 0.041) and decreased functional connectivity in visual areas (β = −0.195 P = 0.046). For cognition, there was a significant interaction between cIMT and the presence of proliferative retinopathy after adjustment for confounding factors (all P < 0.05). Increased cIMT was associated with lower general cognitive ability (β = −0.334; P = 0.018), information processing speed (β = −0.361; P = 0.010) and attention (β = −0.394; P = 0.005) scores in patients without, but not in patients with proliferative retinopathy.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that subclinical macroangiopathy may be a factor in the development of diabetes-related cognitive changes in uncomplicated T1DM, whereas in patients with advanced T1DM, proliferative retinopathy may rather be the driving force of cerebral compromise.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-58
PMCID: PMC3995631  PMID: 24620788
Type 1 diabetes; Cognition; Subclinical macroangiopathy; Microangiopathy; Neuroimaging; Cognition
42.  Altered glucose metabolism rather than naive type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is related to vitamin D status in severe obesity 
Context
The last decades have provided insights into vitamin D physiology linked to glucose homeostasis. Uncertainties remain in obesity due to its intrinsic effects on vitamin D and glucose tolerance.
Objectives
To assess the relationship between vitamin D and glucose abnormalities in severely obese individuals previously unknown to suffer from abnormal glucose metabolism.
Setting
Tertiary care centre.
Patients
524 obese patients (50.3 ± 14.9 yrs; BMI, 47.7 ± 7.3 kg/m2) screened by OGTT, HbA1c and the lipid profile. Vitamin D status was assessed by 25(OH)D3, PTH and electrolyte levels. 25(OH)D3 deficiency/insufficiency were set at 20 and 30 ng/ml, respectively. All comparative and regression analyses were controlled for age, BMI and gender.
Results
The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency and secondary hyperparathyroidism were 95% and 50.8%, respectively. Normal glucose tolerance (NGT), impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were found in 37.8%, 40.5% and 21.7% of cases, respectively. Large variations in metabolic parameters were seen across categories of vitamin D status, but the only significant differences were found for C-peptide, tryglicerides, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol levels (p < 0.05 for all). The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was documented to be slightly but significantly more frequent in glucose-intolerant patients (IFG + IGT + T2DM) compared to the -normotolerant counterpart (87% vs. 80%, p < 0.05). In partial correlation analyses, there was no association between vitamin D levels and glucose-related markers but for HbA1c (r = −0.091, p < 0.05), and both basal and OGTT-stimulated insulin levels (r = 0.097 and r = 0.099; p < 0.05 for all). Vitamin D levels were also correlated to HDL-cholesterol (r = 0.13, p = 0.002). Multivariate regression analysis inclusive of vitamin D, age, BMI, gender and fat mass as independent variables, showed that vitamin D was capable of predicting HbA1c levels (β = −0.101, p < 0.05).
Conclusions
Given the inherent effect of obesity on vitamin D and glucose homeostasis, current data suggest a potential independent role for vitamin D in the regulation of glucose metabolism in a setting of obese patients previously unknown to harbour glucose metabolism abnormalities.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-57
PMCID: PMC3995712  PMID: 24618074
43.  Novel unbiased equations to calculate triglyceride-rich lipoprotein cholesterol from routine non-fasting lipids 
Background
Non-fasting triglyceride-rich lipoproteins cholesterol (TRL-C) contributes to cardiovascular risk, in that it includes remnant cholesterol (RC). TRL-C is computed as total C - [LDL-C + HDL-C]. Such calculation applies only if LDL-C is directly measured, or obtained from a non-Friedewald’s formula, a method as yet never benchmarked against independent markers of TRL burden.
Methods
The Discriminant Ratio (DR) methodology was used in 120 type 2 diabetic patients in order: (i) to compute TRL-C from non-fasting lipids; (ii) to establish the performance of TRL-C and TRL-C/apoA-I (vs. TG-based markers) to grade TRLs and atherogenic dyslipidemia (AD); and (iii) to relate TRL-C with non-fasting TG.
Results
Depending on apoB100 availability, TRL-C (mg/dL) can be derived from non-fasting lipids in two ways: (a) total cholesterol (TC) - [(0.0106 * TC - 0.0036 * TG + 0.017 * apoB100 - 0.27) * 38.6] - HDL-C; and (b) TC - [(0.0106 * TC - 0.0036 * TG + 0.017 * [0.65 * (TC - HDL-C) + 6.3] - 0.27) * 38.6] - HDL-C. Discrimination between log[TG] and TRL-C was similar (DR 0.94 and 0.84, respectively), whereas that of log[TG]/HDL-C was better than TRL-C/apoA-I (DR 1.01 vs. 0.65; p 0.0482). All Pearson’s correlations between pairs reached unity, allowing formulation of two unbiased equivalence equations: (a) TRL-C = 97.8 * log[TG] - 181.9; and (b) TRL-C/apoA-I = 8.15 * (log[TG]/HDL-C) - 0.18.
Conclusions
TRL-C and log[TG] are as effective and interchangeable for assessing remnant atherogenic particles. For grading TRL-AD, it is best to use log[TG]/HDL-C, inherently superior to TRL-C/apoA-I, while measuring the same underlying variable.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-56
PMCID: PMC3975291  PMID: 24612479
Remnant cholesterol; Triglycerides; Non-fasting; Chylomicrons; Lipoprotein; Diabetes; Atherogenic dyslipidemia
44.  AGEs breaking and antioxidant treatment improves endothelium-dependent dilation without effect on flow-mediated remodeling of resistance arteries in old Zucker diabetic rats 
Background
A chronic increase in blood flow in resistance arteries is associated with increased lumen diameter (outward remodeling) and improved endothelium (NO)-mediated relaxation. Flow-mediated remodeling of resistance arteries is essential for revascularization in ischemic diseases. Nevertheless, it is impaired in 12 to 24-month old rats and in young Zucker Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rats due to advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and oxidative stress. As type 2 diabetes occurs preferentially in older subjects we investigated flow-mediated remodeling and the effect of the AGEs breaker ALT-711 associated or not to the antioxidant TEMPOL in one-year old lean (LZ) and ZDF rats.
Methods
Mesenteric resistance arteries were exposed to high (HF) or normal blood flow (NF) in vivo. They were collected after 2 weeks for in vitro analysis.
Results
In LZ rats, diameter expansion did not occur despite a significant increase in blood flow in HF arteries. Nevertheless, endothelium-mediated relaxation was higher in HF than in NF arteries. ALT-711, alone or in combination with TEMPOL, restored outward remodeling in HF arteries in association with AGEs reduction. TEMPOL alone had no effect. ALT-711, TEMPOL or the combination of the 2 drugs did not significantly affect endothelium-mediated relaxation in HF and NF arteries.
In ZDF rats, diameter did not increase despite the increase in blood flow and endothelium-mediated relaxation was further decreased in HF arteries in association with AGEs accumulation and excessive oxidative stress. In both NF and HF arteries, endothelium-mediated relaxation was lower in ZDF than in LZ rats. ALT-711, TEMPOL or their combination did not improve remodeling (diameter equivalent in HF and NF arteries). In parallel, they did not reduce AGEs level and did not improve MMPs activity. Nevertheless, ALT-711 and TEMPOL partly improved endothelium-mediated relaxation through a reduction of oxidative stress and the association of ALT-711 and TEMPOL fully restored relaxation to the level found in LZ rats.
Conclusions
ALT-711 did not improve outward remodeling in mature ZDF rats but it reduced oxidative stress and consequently improved endothelium-dependent relaxation. In mature LZ rats, ALT-711 improved outward remodeling and reduced AGEs level. Consequently, AGEs breaking is differently useful in ageing whether it is associated with diabetes or not.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-55
PMCID: PMC3944955  PMID: 24581152
45.  Body adiposity dictates different mechanisms of increased coronary reactivity related to improved in vivo cardiac function 
Background
Saturated fatty acid-rich high fat (HF) diets trigger abdominal adiposity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiac dysfunction. This study was aimed at evaluating the effects of nascent obesity on the cardiac function of animals fed a high-fat diet and at analyzing the mechanisms by which these alterations occurred at the level of coronary reserve.
Materials and methods
Rats were fed a control (C) or a HF diet containing high proportions of saturated fatty acids for 3 months. Thereafter, their cardiac function was evaluated in vivo using a pressure probe inserted into the cavity of the left ventricle. Their heart was isolated, perfused iso-volumetrically according to the Langendorff mode and the coronary reserve was evaluated by determining the endothelial-dependent (EDV) and endothelial-independent (EIV) vasodilatations in the absence and presence of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase inhibitors (L-NAME and indomethacin). The fatty acid composition of cardiac phospholipids was then evaluated.
Results
Although all the HF-fed rats increased their abdominal adiposity, some of them did not gain body weight (HF- group) compared to the C group whereas other ones had a higher body weight (HF+). All HF rats displayed a higher in vivo cardiac activity associated with an increased EDV. In the HF- group, the improved EDV was due to an increase in the endothelial cell vasodilatation activity whereas in the HF+ group, the enhanced EDV resulted from an improved sensitivity of coronary smooth muscle cells to nitric oxide. Furthermore, in the HF- group the main pathway implicated in the EDV was the NOS pathway while in the HF+ group the COX pathway.
Conclusions
Nascent obesity-induced improvement of cardiac function may be supported by an enhanced coronary reserve occurring via different mechanisms. These mechanisms implicate either the endothelial cells activity or the smooth muscle cells sensitivity depending on the body adiposity of the animals.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-54
PMCID: PMC3996056  PMID: 24572210
Obesity; Cardiac function; Coronary reserve; Nitric oxide; Cyclooxygenase; Arachidonic acid
46.  High glucose induces human endothelial dysfunction through an Axl-dependent mechanism 
Background
The receptor tyrosine kinase Axl and its ligand growth arrest-specific protein 6 (Gas6) are involved in the diabetic vascular disease. The aim of this study was to explore the role of Gas6/Axl system in high glucose (HG)-induced endothelial dysfunction.
Methods
We investigated the effect of various glucose concentrations on Axl signaling in human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1 s).
Results
Human plasma Gas6 value inversely correlated with glucose status, endothelial markers. HG decreased Gas6/Axl expression and increased intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) expression in HMEC-1 s. HG significantly decreased HMEC-1 s cell viability and tube formation and promoted monocyte-EC adhesion. Down-regulation of Akt phosphorylation was found in HG culture. Axl transfection significantly reversed HG-induced Akt phosphorylation, VCAM-1 expression and endothelial dysfunction. We also found additive changes in Axl-shRNA-infected HMEC-1 cells in HG culture. Furthermore, Axl overexpression in HMEC-1 s significantly reversed HG-induced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) expression. In addition, significantly lower Axl and VEGFR2 expression in arteries were found in diabetic patients as compared with non-diabetic patients.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that HG can alter Gas6/Axl signaling and may through Akt and VEGF/VEGFR2 downstream molecules and suggests that Gas6/Axl may involve in HG-induced EC dysfunction.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-53
PMCID: PMC3941696  PMID: 24572151
Diabetes; Endothelial cell; Gas6/Axl
47.  The relationship between serum hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and coronary artery calcification in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients 
Background
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a master regulator of oxygen homeostasis, is a heterodimer consisting of HIF-1α and HIF-1β subunits, and is implicated in calcification of cartilage and vasculature. The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between serum HIF-1α with coronary artery calcification (CAC) in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods
The subjects were 405 (262 males, 143 females, age 51.3 ± 6.4 years) asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Serum HIF-1α and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were measured by ELISA. CAC scores were assessed by a 320-slice CT scanner. The subjects were divided into 4 quartiles depending on serum HIF-1α levels.
Results
Average serum HIF-1α was 184.4 ± 66.7 pg/ml. Among patients with higher CAC scores, HIF-1α levels were also significantly increased (p <0.001). HIF-1α levels positively correlated with CRP, IL-6, UKPDS risk score, HbA1c, FBG, and CACS, but did not correlate with diabetes duration, age, and LDL. According to the multivariate analysis, HIF-1α levels significantly and independently predict the presence of CAC. ROC curve analysis showed that the serum HIF-1α level can predict the extent of CAC, but the specificity was lower than the traditional risk factors UKPDS and HbA1c.
Conclusion
As a marker of hypoxia, serum HIF-1α level may be an independent risk factor for the presence of CAC. These findings indicate that elevated serum HIF-1α may be involved in vascular calcification in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-52
PMCID: PMC3938975  PMID: 24564828
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α; Coronary artery calcification; Atherosclerosis; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
48.  Reduced circulating sTWEAK levels are associated with metabolic syndrome in elderly individuals at high cardiovascular risk 
Background
The circulating soluble TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (sTWEAK) is a cytokine that modulates inflammatory and atherogenic reactions related to cardiometabolic risk. We investigated the association between sTWEAK levels and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components in older subjects at high cardiovascular risk.
Methods
Cross-sectional analysis of 452 non-diabetic individuals (men and women aged 55–80 years) at high cardiovascular risk. MetS was defined by AHA/NHLBI and IDF criteria. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for MetS and its components by tertiles of serum sTWEAK concentrations measured by ELISA.
Results
sTWEAK concentrations were lower in subjects with MetS than in those without. In gender- and age-adjusted analyses, subjects in the lowest sTWEAK tertile had higher ORs for overall MetS [1.71 (95% CI, 1.07-2.72)] and its components abdominal obesity [2.01 (1.15-3.52)], hyperglycemia [1.94 (1.20-3.11)], and hypertriglyceridemia [1.73 (1.05-2.82)] than those in the upper tertile. These associations persisted after controlling for family history of diabetes and premature coronary heart disease, lifestyle, kidney function and other MetS components. sTWEAK concentrations decreased as the number of MetS components increased. Individuals in the lowest vs the upper sTWEAK tertile had an increased risk of disclosing greater number of MetS features. Adjusted ORs for individuals with 2 vs ≤1, 3 vs ≤1, and ≥4 vs ≤ 1 MetS components were 2.60 (1.09-6.22), 2.83 (1.16-6.87) and 6.39 (2.42-16.85), respectively.
Conclusion
In older subjects at high cardiovascular risk, reduced sTWEAK levels are associated with MetS: abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia and hyperglycemia are the main contributors to this association.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-51
PMCID: PMC3974038  PMID: 24565471
sTWEAK; Metabolic syndrome; Cardiovascular risk; Biomarkers; Insulin resistance
49.  Impaired dopamine D1 receptor-mediated vasorelaxation of mesenteric arteries in obese Zucker rats 
Background
Obesity plays an important role in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Renal dopamine D1-like receptor-mediated diuresis and natriuresis are impaired in the obese Zucker rat, an obesity-related hypertensive rat model. The role of arterial D1 receptors in the hypertension of obese Zucker rats is not clear.
Methods
Plasma glucose and insulin concentrations and blood pressure were measured. The vasodilatory response of isolated mesenteric arteries was evaluated using a small vessel myograph. The expression and phosphorylation of D1 receptors were quantified by co-immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting To determine the effect of hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia on the function of the arterial D1 receptor, we studied obese Zucker rats (six to eight-weeks old) fed (6 weeks) vehicle or rosiglitazone, an insulin sensitizer (10 mg/kg per day) and lean Zucker rats (eight to ten-weeks old), fed high-fat diet to induce hyperinsulinemia or injected intraperitoneally with streptomycin (STZ) to induce hyperglycemia.
Results
In obese Zucker rats, the vasorelaxant effect of D1-like receptors was impaired that could be ascribed to decreased arterial D1 receptor expression and increased D1 receptor phosphorylation. In these obese rats, rosiglitazone normalized the arterial D1 receptor expression and phosphorylation and improved the D1-like receptor-mediated vasorelaxation. We also found that D1 receptor-dependent vasorelaxation was decreased in lean Zucker rats with hyperinsulinemia or hyperglycemia but the D1 receptor dysfunction was greater in the former than in the latter group. The ability of insulin and glucose to decrease D1 receptor expression and increase its phosphorylation were confirmed in studies of rat aortic smooth muscle cells.
Conclusions
Both hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia caused D1 receptor dysfunction by decreasing arterial D1 receptor expression and increasing D1 receptor phosphorylation. Impaired D1 receptor-mediated vasorelaxation is involved in the pathogenesis of obesity-related hypertension.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-50
PMCID: PMC3938077  PMID: 24559270
Dopamine D1 receptor; Vasorelaxation; Hyperinsulinemia; Hyperglycemia; Obesity-related hypertension; Obese Zucker rats
50.  Liraglutide decreases carotid intima-media thickness in patients with type 2 diabetes: 8-month prospective pilot study 
Background
Liraglutide, a long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog, has several non- glycemic properties, but its effect on carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), a recognized marker of subclinical atherosclerosis, is still unknown.
Methods
A prospective study of 8 months duration in 64 patients with type-2 diabetes and no prior history of coronary artery disease evaluated whether adding liraglutide to metformin affects carotid IMT, measured by color doppler ultrasound.
Results
After 8 months, fasting glucose decreased by 2.1 mmol/l and HbA1c by 1.9% (p < 0.01 for all). Liraglutide reduced total-cholesterol and triglycerides by 10%, and LDL-cholesterol by 19%, whereas HDL-cholesterol increased by 18% (p < 0.01 for all lipid changes). Carotid IMT decreased from 1.19 ± 0.47 to 0.94 ± 0.21 mm (p < 0.01). Yet, changes in carotid IMT did not correlate with changes in any other variable studied.
Conclusions
Liraglutide decreases carotid IMT after 8 months treatment independently of its effect on plasma glucose and lipids concentrations.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01715428.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-49
PMCID: PMC3948058  PMID: 24559258
Liraglutide; Carotid intima-media thickness; Cardiovascular risk; Type2 diabetes

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