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author:("gerald, Pedro")
1.  PKCδ Impaired Vessel Formation and Angiogenic Factor Expression in Diabetic Ischemic Limbs 
Diabetes  2013;62(8):2948-2957.
Decreased collateral vessel formation in diabetic peripheral limbs is characterized by abnormalities of the angiogenic response to ischemia. Hyperglycemia is known to activate protein kinase C (PKC), affecting the expression and activity of growth factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). The current study investigates the role of PKCδ in diabetes-induced poor collateral vessel formation and inhibition of angiogenic factors expression and actions. Ischemic adductor muscles of diabetic Prkcd+/+ mice exhibited reduced blood reperfusion, vascular density, and number of small vessels compared with nondiabetic Prkcd+/+ mice. By contrast, diabetic Prkcd−/− mice showed significant increased blood flow, capillary density, and number of capillaries. Although expression of various PKC isoforms was unchanged, activation of PKCδ was increased in diabetic Prkcd+/+ mice. VEGF and PDGF mRNA and protein expression were decreased in the muscles of diabetic Prkcd+/+ mice and were normalized in diabetic Prkcd−/− mice. Furthermore, phosphorylation of VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and PDGF receptor-β (PDGFR-β) were blunted in diabetic Prkcd+/+ mice but elevated in diabetic Prkcd−/− mice. The inhibition of VEGFR2 and PDGFR-β activity was associated with increased SHP-1 expression. In conclusion, our data have uncovered the mechanisms by which PKCδ activation induced poor collateral vessel formation, offering potential novel targets to regulate angiogenesis therapeutically in diabetic patients.
PMCID: PMC3717846  PMID: 23557702
2.  Protective Effects of GLP-1 on Glomerular Endothelium and Its Inhibition by PKCβ Activation in Diabetes 
Diabetes  2012;61(11):2967-2979.
To characterize glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 signaling and its effect on renal endothelial dysfunction and glomerulopathy. We studied the expression and signaling of GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) on glomerular endothelial cells and the novel finding of protein kinase A–dependent phosphorylation of c-Raf at Ser259 and its inhibition of angiotensin II (Ang II) phospho–c-Raf(Ser338) and Erk1/2 phosphorylation. Mice overexpressing protein kinase C (PKC)β2 in endothelial cells (EC-PKCβ2Tg) were established. Ang II and GLP-1 actions in glomerular endothelial cells were analyzed with small interfering RNA of GLP-1R. PKCβ isoform activation induced by diabetes decreased GLP-1R expression and protective action on the renal endothelium by increasing its degradation via ubiquitination and enhancing phospho–c-Raf(Ser338) and Ang II activation of phospho-Erk1/2. EC-PKCβ2Tg mice exhibited decreased GLP-1R expression and increased phospho–c-Raf(Ser338), leading to enhanced effects of Ang II. Diabetic EC-PKCβ2Tg mice exhibited greater loss of endothelial GLP-1R expression and exendin-4–protective actions and exhibited more albuminuria and mesangial expansion than diabetic controls. These results showed that the renal protective effects of GLP-1 were mediated via the inhibition of Ang II actions on cRaf(Ser259) and diminished by diabetes because of PKCβ activation and the increased degradation of GLP-1R in the glomerular endothelial cells.
PMCID: PMC3478518  PMID: 22826029
3.  PKCβ-induced Selective IRS1 Dysfunction and Insulin Resistance in Renal Glomeruli of Rodent Models of Diabetes and Obesity 
Kidney international  2011;79(8):883-896.
Insulin resistance has been associated with the progression of chronic kidney disease in both diabetes and obesity. This study characterizes insulin signaling in renal tubules and glomeruli in insulin resistant and diabetic states.
Insulin-induced phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS1), Akt, endothelial nitric oxide (eNOS), and glycogen synthase kinase 3α (GSK3α) were selectively inhibited in the glomeruli but not in the renal tubules of both streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic and Zucker fatty, insulin resistant rats compared to non-diabetic and Zucker lean rats. Protein levels, but not the mRNA expression, of IRS1 were decreased only in the glomeruli of STZ-diabetic rats and increased its association with ubiquitination. Protein kinase C (PKC) β isoform inhibitor, ruboxistaurin (RBX), treatment enhanced insulin actions and elevated IRS1 expression. In glomerular endothelial cells, high glucose inhibited phosphorylation of Akt, eNOS and GSK3α, decreased IRS1 protein expression and increased association with ubiquitination. Overexpression of IRS1 or the addition of RBX reversed the inhibitory effects of high glucose.
Selective inhibition of the IRS1/PI3K/Akt pathway and insulin activation of eNOS and GSK3α in the glomeruli in diabetes and insulin resistance is partly due to increased IRS1 degradation and PKCβ activation. The loss of insulin's effect on endothelial eNOS and GSK3α activation may contribute to the glomeropathy observed in diabetes and obesity.
PMCID: PMC3612886  PMID: 21228767
diabetic nephropathy; insulin resistance; obesity; insulin receptor substrate-1; protein kinase C β
4.  Activation of PKCδ and SHP1 by hyperglycemia causes vascular cell apoptosis and diabetic retinopathy 
Nature Medicine  2009;15(11):1298-1306.
Cellular apoptosis induced by hyperglycemia occurs in many vascular cells and is critical to initiate diabetic pathologies. In the retina, pericyte apoptosis, the most specific vascular pathology attributed to hyperglycemia, is linked to the loss of PDGF actions due to unknown mechanisms. Our study demonstrated that hyperglycemia persistently activated PKCδ and p38α MAPK to increase the expression of a novel target, SHP-1, leading to PDGF receptor-β dephosphorylation and actions, and increased pericyte apoptosis, independent of NF-κB. These findings were also observed in diabetic mouse retinas, which were not reversed by achieving normoglycemia with insulin. Unlike diabetic controls, diabetic Prkcd−/− mice did not exhibit p38α MAPK/SHP-1 activation, PDGF resistance or acellular capillaries. Since PKCδ/p38α MAPK/SHP-1 activation are also induced in the brain pericytes and renal cortex by diabetes, these findings have elucidated a new pathway by which hyperglycemia can induce PDGF resistance and increase vascular cell apoptosis to cause diabetic vascular complications.
PMCID: PMC3290906  PMID: 19881493
5.  Loss of insulin signaling in vascular endothelial cells accelerates atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E null mice 
Cell metabolism  2010;11(5):379-389.
To determine whether insulin action on endothelial cells promotes or protects against atherosclerosis, we generated apolipoprotein E null mice in which the insulin receptor gene was intact or conditionally deleted in vascular endothelial cells. Insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, plasma lipids, and blood pressure were not different between the two groups, but atherosclerotic lesion size was more than 2-fold higher in mice lacking endothelial insulin signaling. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation was impaired and endothelial cell VCAM-1 expression was increased in these animals. Adhesion of mononuclear cells to endothelium in vivo was increased 4-fold compared with controls, but reduced to below control values by a VCAM-1 blocking antibody. These results provide definitive evidence that loss of insulin signaling in endothelium, in the absence of competing systemic risk factors, accelerates atherosclerosis. Therefore, improving insulin sensitivity in the endothelium of patients with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes may prevent cardiovascular complications.
PMCID: PMC3020149  PMID: 20444418
6.  Activation of Protein Kinase C Isoforms & Its Impact on Diabetic Complications 
Circulation research  2010;106(8):1319-1331.
Both cardio- and microvascular complications adversely affect the life quality of patients with diabetes and have been the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in this population. Cardiovascular pathologies of diabetes have an effect on microvenules, arteries, and myocardium. It is believed that hyperglycemia is one of the most important metabolic factors in the development of both micro- and macrovascular complications in diabetic patients. Several prominent hypotheses exist to explain the adverse effect of hyperglycemia. One of them is the chronic activation by hyperglycemia of protein kinase C (PKC), a family of enzymes that are involved in controlling the function of other proteins. PKC has been associated with vascular alterations such as increases in permeability, contractility, extracellular matrix synthesis, cell growth and apoptosis, angiogenesis, leukocyte adhesion, and cytokine activation and inhibition. These perturbations in vascular cell homeostasis caused by different PKC isoforms (PKC-α, -β1/2, and PKC-δ) are linked to the development of pathologies affecting large vessel (atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy) and small vessel (retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy) complications. Clinical trials using a PKC-β isoform inhibitor have been conducted, with some positive results for diabetic nonproliferative retinopathy, nephropathy and endothelial dysfunction. This paper reviews current understanding of how PKC isoforms cause vascular dysfunctions and pathologies in diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2877591  PMID: 20431074
Protein Kinase C; Vascular cell biology; Diabetes; Cardiovascular diseases

Results 1-6 (6)